Client Showcase: My Reptile Guys

I have just begun working with some very cool people – they are known online as ‘MyReptileGuys.Com‘ and they bring lots of interesting animals to birthday parties and other get togethers in and around Atlanta.

We’re doing some very light stuff on their web page – really light: keyword density, that sort of thing.  The designer Art Casado is an artistic genius.  He didn’t need any help from me . . .  and we’re promoting their YouTube video – check it out:

grassfed-gheeGrass-Fed Ghee is the perfect expression of buttery goodness. shop now and see what all the hype is about!

They do parties, jungle, expedition and safari levels; they go to schools, camps, and people’s houses! In addition to having the coolest party ever, you can print your invitations on their website (in their jungle motif) and have a great time touching and holding all sorts of reptiles: Bearded Dragon, snakes, including a Burmese Python, a Red-footed Tortoise, a Plated Lizard, and (my favorite) a Giant Green Iguana.  Don’t take my word for it, watch the vid; visit their site!  MyReptileGuys.Com, and call them for your next party!

Your Social Connection

If you aren’t a GenY Facebook user, or any generation FB user, and are planning a foray into social media for the purpose of becoming a ‘known’ entity, or making your company or brand a known entity, Prepare Yourself. Facebook isn’t all that it seems. And it is more. I know. Confusing.

Time Magazine Person of the Year

Well, really, who else could it be? Person of the year, I mean.  Mark Zuckerberg, one of the youngest billionaires in the country, if not the world, since history began keeping up with billionaires. The brain behind Facebook and its 500 million users. We’re told he is the brains behind Facebook, although he may not be the brains behind the idea of facebook. See Winklevoss Twins Video below

Lev Grossman, writing for Time, gets into the conversation about the movie. There is so much controversy there! (to which he isn’t going to contribute via Time).

He describes the movie, The Social Network, as

a rich, dramatic portrait of a furious, socially handicapped genius who spits corrosive monologues in a monotone to hide his inner pain.  This character bears almost no resemblance to the actual Mark Zuckerberg.

The reality is much more complicated.

Translation: See the movie for details.

While he writes in glowing terms about how Zuckerberg’s co-workers really like him, he also includes remarks like

His default expression is a direct and slightly wide-eyed stare that makes you wonder if you’ve got a spider on your forehead.

Translation: You can almost see it on the Time cover, but really, you’ve gotta see the movie for this!

Grossman comes back with more of the nice stuff

… Zuckerberg loves being around people.  He didn’t build Facebook so he could have a social life like the rest of us.  He built it because he wanted the rest of us to have his.

italics mine

Perhaps because I’m not GenY, I don’t find Facebook very sociable

I’m thinking maybe I don’t want the social life of Zuckerberg . . .  I long for a glass of wine and a quiet conversation where people aren’t interrupting for texts or phone calls, or to check in on Facebook and Twitter.

In the social life he grants me (Facebook)  I read narcissistic banter that details minutia

… Almond milk for breakfast.  Can’t get enough.

and announces new friends

… Billy Bob is now friends with JC, Onjolina, Ricky Ricardo and 19 others …

And, then, when I question one of my daughters on a remark she made on Facebook, her response is

Why are you Facebook Stalking me?  That’s Facebook stuff, that’s not real life stuff.

Oh.

So here we are, Non GenY Facebookers, counting the likes on our Pages like teenagers reading remarks in a slambook. (I’m a child of the sixties, what can I tellya?) And we are thinking we are going to ride the Facebook wave to our own version of 500,000,000 users.

Lately I’m thinking, maybe not.

We should be realistic about what we expect from Facebook.  It isn’t sales nirvana.  It isn’t going to be your online retail outlet.

It can only be the connection YOU form with the people you come across.  And then, you can only introduce yourself, your company, or your brand.  Or all three as the case may be. Whether or not the people you introduce yourself to befriend you, listen to you, and eventually wander over to your website and purchase your wares . . . That is a known unknown. Unless, of course, you sell Almond milk!

Zuckerberg wants you to have his social experience. Given a choice, I’d rather have his money.

Other Former Facebook Players I met in the movie

The Real Winklevoss Twins Defend “The Social Network”

YouTube Video of the tall, good-looking twins promoting The Social Network. Interesting to see the real deal.

Sean Parker in Vanity Fair

In a recent article in Vanity Fair, Sean Parker’s life is described as

a cycle of vertiginous triumph followed by humiliating failure . . . and himself as the hard-partying, press-shy genius of social networking, a budding billionaire, and about to be famous.

about to be famous??  Are you kiddin’ me? Maybe the VF author isn’t GenY either.

Previous Posts of Relevance: Social Media Bottom Line: What do you get, and what does it cost?

Next Up in this Series: As a Company, or a Brand, What Can You Really Expect from Social Media

Excerpt:  I found a recent survey taken by Bazaar Voice regarding satisfaction of results from Social Media.  You can see the full size graph here . . . . And you can see that satisfaction is growing for Facebook and Twitter, but the author of the article voiced surprised at the numbers.  Could it be the survey was taken on a good day, and the actual numbers aren’t going to be revealed to us at all?

Has SEO evolved to handle the explosion of Social Media?

Michael D. Harris Jr asked on LinkedIn:

How has SEO evolved to handle the explosion of Social Media?

Are there any specific guidelines reagarding social media? Also, are there any Top Selling books that talk about the subject that I can recommend to colleagues and friends?

I don’t think SEO has evolved to handle Social Media, I think they are separate and distinct.

Search engines (Google particularly) LOVE blogs, twitter, and facebook. They get indexed almost immediately, which isn’t ever going to happen with a website even if you spend $10,000 a month on SEO. But while social media is “search friendly” it should never be market driven. IE, don’t use it to hawk your wares – you’ll just drive away the people you want to draw closer!

Social Media should have as its goal the forming of a community around you or your product, or in the case of Facebook, creating a space in an on-line community in which you can interact with the larger community.

Social Media is really only about making yourself (meaning you, your company, your product, etc.) known, taking care of clients’ needs, perhaps being humorous, and always, engaging. Giving, rather than getting.

We all presume that if we do Social Media well, we will be rewarded by the fact that if we are better known (and well-liked) eventually it will lead people to our doors and they will buy something.

I’ve found that it isn’t always so. You do really need to have something people want badly enough to buy no matter what you use (SEO, SMO – social media optimization, google adwords – whatever).

But there are those amazing success stories of people who have gotten book deals AND movies, not to mention reality tv shows because someone spotted a blog, or a funny twitter account. (Really, I know of two twitter accounts that are now on tv. Go figure.  Read From Twitter to Hollywood, another success story)

I write about getting traffic and touch on what to use and how in the series I’ve listed below in the web resources box – “If you Build it, Will they Come?”

 

 

And . . . this answer was chosen by Michael D. Harris Jr, President/ Publisher Ardynn PR, as the best answer submitted.

Reputation Management (a/k/a Damage Control)

Start Reputation Management Before You Need It

There are systems that you should put in place before you’re in trouble . . . true damage control comes with being prepared, not trying to put out fires as they pop up. The worst instance of the need for damage control was the BP Oil Spill in the Gulf in 2010, but they made it worse with their efforts to downplay the level of contamination.  Then Tony Hayward, chief executive, visited Venice, Louisiana, to apologize for the disaster (the worst oil spill in American history) and said “no one wants this over more than I do.”  But he added the remark,

I would like my life back.

Damage control for their damage control

That faux pas actually made it to the number one spot in “the year in Briefing’ in Time magazine’s person of the year issue for 2010, along with John Tyner remarking on his “junk”, Hillary Clinton denying another run for the presidency and Pope Benedict XVI acknowledging fault in the child-sexual-abuse scandal.

Talk about bad company.

Cinéma vérité, better known in Los Angeles as Reality TV

I use both Google Alerts and StepRep for some assignments I’m working on – the most amusing are for a couple of C-List Los Angeles actresses (who shall remain nameless, less I shoot myself in the foot here) who have more bad press than good. And, who shudder every time they think a producer or casting company may ‘google’ them before making casting calls.

There are probably a dozen instances of reality tv catapulting people into prominence (and with that, a successful career in entertainment) but there are even more instances of reality tv ‘stars’ being vilified in the press.  The very nature of reality tv, to show the viewers how absurdly the reality personality lives, encourages the very worst press coverage.  Actors who think they will use reality tv as the path to fame and fortune seldom realize that path is wrought with peril – particularly if they really do live the drunken debauchery they portray in their particular reality series.  When the reality tv ride comes to an end, and they don’t have, and can’t get, a decent gig, all that ‘hot’ press they got for their last job may not be the answer to moving to A-List (or even B-List) status.

Get Rid of the sleaze or Replace it with some Sparkle

Unfortunately, getting rid of the avalanche of bad publicity is never an easy task, however, in this day and age of blogs and social media it is possible to actually push the trash to back pages by simply overwhelming the media with better info.  A blog that is indexed by Google will, in pretty short order, have every page listed at the top of search results.  Ditto with Facebook and Twitter: they are indexed almost immediately, and a search for an actor or actress will bring up the fresh content first, moving the bad PR to page 2 or 3.

There is such a thing as “bad publicity”

It is simply a matter of getting an organized view of the trash talk and working the tools to get ahead of it.  Way ahead.  We can do that.

Damage Control Tools

There are several methods of keeping up with what is being said about you or your brand that are better than taking the time to ‘google’ yourself or your company. Google Alerts is a great tool, but can be overwhelming if you aren’t precise in your settings. Google tells you you can monitor the web for “interesting new content” but the people I know use it to monitor it for interesting new content relevant to them.

Google Alerts suggests

  • monitoring a developing news story
  • keeping current on a competitor or industry
  • getting the latest on a celebrity or event
  • keeping tabs on your favorite sports teams

Designing your Google Alerts

Once you’ve set up an account to get Google Alerts, enter your topic, and choose the level of results you want to receive:

  • Choose from news, blogs, realtime, video, or everything
  • Choose to get the results as it happens, every day, every week
  • And then it is the volume you are willing to receive. Your choices are All and only the best

StepRep: reputation intelligence for small business

An alternative to Google Alerts, is StepRep, who advertises as “reputation intelligence for small business.” I use StepRep as a supplement to Google Alerts.  StepRep gives you all the data that Google Alerts does, and gives you the opportunity to go through their findings and mark your personal content along with things that are not relevant to you or your search.

I was dismayed to find the number of people named Traci Gregory on the internet. Not that it seems such an unusual name, but I had to go through a lot of data that was irrelevant to get to the instances of my Traci Gregory.

Start Now, Before You Need It

Set up your alerts on either service (or both) and think of all the worst phrases you would hate to see in connection with your brand.  Think also of what you’re going to do on your blog and your website if worst comes to worst and you’re fighting some really bad press.  You can’t catch it all, and you certainly can’t contain it if you haven’t got a plan.

But you can call me; or send me an email: traci@tracigregory.com

 

Related Articles in this Series: Reputation Management Part 2: Who is talking about you in Social Media?

Other Surprising Moments in the Press

Former Pres. George W. Bush, and brother Jeb

From Twitter to Hollywood, A Success Story

From Blog to Book . . . to Movie!

Los Angeles Social Media Services

In times past, you could be obscure, yet secure — now, that’s harder.

— Michael Goldhaber, Wired Magazine

We are a full-service internet marketing company.  We design strategy to leverage the Internet for clients in any industry.  We work with attorneys, physicians, designers, manufacturers, chefs.  We are very good at what we do because we get it.  We know how the Internet works, how it inter-relates, and how to leverage the larger sites available (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google) to enhance your web presence.

We provide a full menu of internet marketing services —

Coordinated Presence across Social Platforms

  • Google Plus pages for your business

  • Twitter Promotions: Custom Background Design, Twitter followers campaigns, finding your specifically targeted Twitter audiences.

  • YouTube Channels and distribution of video content

  • Linked In Business Pages

Recent LA clients include a music promoter, a well known criminal defense attorney, and a couple of actresses in need of  “damage control”.

How to make a background in the New Twitter

Don’t you get tired of “your” pages getting changed up by the people who actually run them?  With Facebook’s profiles and pages, it is almost a full time job keeping up with them and revising your well thought out work to fit in its new space.

I’ve finally acknowledged that there is a “new Twitter”, and while the background image I had before was cool, you can only see a small part of it now.

I have to have a new Twitter background for the “new Twitter”.

Luckily I found the dimensions of available space on Mashable, and was able to set it up easily.  Then I played around with it for just a few minutes to get something I liked that would work in most resolutions.

The available space is a mere 113 pixels in the left hand column.  There is a margin of 40 pixels across the top of the screen that will be used for twitter’s ribbon of commands.  So here is what you have to work with:

{filelink=1}I’ve placed a png file of this in the downloads if you’d like a cheat sheet to start with.

On my screen, with 1680×1050 pixels showing, my background looks pretty good when posted on twitter:

You can see the image, my website url, the locations I’m in, and graphics to denote that I have a blog, facebook, linked in and twitter.  Historically I’ve written out the links on twitter backgrounds (you don’t get a clickable background, just a photo) but if I google myself, facebook, twitter, and linked in all come up on the first page along with my website.  Probably will work the same way for you, you’ll just have to do the self-involved google yourself thing and find out.

While I’m happy with what I’m seeing, everyone doesn’t have the monitor I have, so I want to know what happens on other computers (and I don’t want to walk all over the house using different ones . . . I want to resize the screen on this computer so I can take screenshots to compare the differences).

Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft’s IE all have an add-in that will allow you to resize your screen and see just what it is that other people see. Comes in very handy when a client has just seen something on a computer that is older than most of my children and calls me screaming that it doesn’t look like it did this morning on his computer at the office. Duh.

You’ll see that with each successive downward screen sizing, the white space surrounding the actual twitter columns narrows to nothing, and then my little 113 pixels start to disappear as if eaten by pacman.

As if seen on a 15″ Laptop, 1366×768, reduced to 36%

And, the worst ever, 1024×600, also reduced to 36%

Time to really work on that bio!

Here’s where it pays to remember that your bio, along with your background image is going to sell people on following you, or turn them away.

You’ve lost all that white space that used to be your “twitter billboard”, so now you must edit your bio and make sure that it is a full-fledged sales tool that makes people want to get your tweets. It is the only thing you’ve got and at 140 characters, it better be good.

But, by now you are an artist: after all, you’ve been getting your message across in 140 character tweets! Surely you can manage the best of shameless self-promotion  in that space.


Other Posts on Twitter

How to exploit Twitter: A Sample of the best use of Twitter info

Is there too much Twitter?

Tweetadder: Build your Twitter following with like-minded people

Friend or Follow: Test Your Twitter

Tweetbeep

Additional Resources:

Get the Mashable Twitter GuideBook

Social Media Bottom Line: What do you get, and what does it cost?

Since we’re fast approaching 2011 and everyone looks at what they did this year and what they are going to do next year (and what it is all going to cost in time and money) we thought we’d do this piece on decision making for your social media brand.

There are multiple considerations; if you are looking to establish a social media plan, you could start here:

What are you trying to do?

  • Generate sales leads?
  • Promote your brand?
  • Get “into” social media?  Pointless, really, without an end result in mind.

How are you going to make this happen?

  • Who is going to do the work? Are you willing to do it yourself?  Assign it to an employee?
  • College Intern?  Bad Idea . . . really bad idea.
  • How long are you going to actively promote your social media campaign before you go to simply maintaining?
  • Longer is more costly, but what effect are you going to have on your goals if you throw money at your project for 30 days? None. And you’ll have that negative effect on your pocketbook.

We’ve learned that social media is beneficial in a cumulative fashion.

You aren’t really going to get hella results if you work on Facebook and Twitter for 30 days and then throw in the towel. Save your money if that’s your plan.

These are the services we offer, and typical pricing:

P/Mo or P/Un
Design a blog and launch, outsourced $1,000-$12,000
avg $3K to $5K
Design a blog and launch, some outsourcing $1,000-$8,000
avg $2K to $3.5K
Redesign an existing blog (3-6 mos) $1,000-$5,000
avg $2K to $4K
Create & introduce a new Twitter presence, outsourced $1,000-$7,500
avg $2K to $4K
Create and introduce a new Twitter presence, & provide ongoing training for company $1,000-$6,000
avg $1K to $3K
Re wicker an existing existing Twitter presence (3-6 mos) $1,000-$4,000
avg $1K to $2.5K
Limited coaching to improve Twitter success $1,000-$4,000
avg $1K to $2.5K
Design a Facebook Page and deploy, from the ground-up, outsourced including interaction with readers $2,000-$9,000
avg $2.5K to $5K
Design a Facebook Page and deploy, with limited training on interaction (3-6 mos) $2,000-$7,500
avg $2K to $4K
Design specific Social Media Strategy; outsource all content creation through all channels (min of 2, probability of 4 or less) $3,000-$20,000
avg $4K to $7K
Design of specific Social Media Strategy; outsource limited content creation; may include in house training (4-12 mos) $3,000-$15,000
avg $3K to $6K
Simple review of current Social Media Strategy with recommendations on how and where to improve your recognition $2,000-$10,000
avg $2K to $5K
Social Media Consulting Specific Topics $50-$500/Hr
avg $75 to $200

If these Consulting Fees make you a little weak in the knees, consider the preparation made before you see them or a proposal. Research about your company and what you are doing, perhaps research into your competitors and what they are doing.

For your eight hour consult, I could realistically have up to 40 hours invested at the end of the day. And that doesn’t include travel time, whether it is across town, or across the country.

Keep these in mind as you review your needs and your budget. If you’d like my assistance for your social media campaign, please email me for a custom quote.

How to set your Facebook Page Landing Tab

Dasha Bushmakin, a connection from LinkedIn, asked for an assist on changing the landing page on Facebook.  I’m presuming here we’re talking about the Facebook Page landing tabs, and I’ve made some screenshots to show how it is done, because unless you’re reading books on Facebook Pages, it isn’t that easy to find.  Her question is:

New Facebook Layout and Landing Pages

Has anyone had any experience with changing the landing page with the new FB layout? Any advice would be greatly appreciated:)

Starting with “Pages You Admin”

click on the page you want to set, look just under the status line (where you can  post status updates, Add Photos, Add a Link, or a Video)  You’ll see on the far right a link to “Options”.

If you click “Options” you’ll see “Settings” revealed.


And if you then click “Settings” you’ll see a whole world of choices (well, new choices you might not have  known you had) as seen in the screenshot below:

Use this to get your “Like” button pushed by new visitors:

I have mine set on the tab I’ve named “Welcome” because I want everyone who comes to my Facebook Page to see the request for them to “Like” my page.

After they have liked my page, they’ll see a sort of mini-pitch of the work I do, and then they can choose from any of the tabs to move around and see what else is there.

We’ve decided to make this an ongoing project – answering LinkedIn Questions,

or questions entered in the comments section. Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words, and it isn’t always possible to post them in original forums.

If you have questions about this, or any other Facebook Admin issue, do post them here, and we’ll respond as quickly as we can.

Top Ten YouTube Videos for 2010: the Power of YouTube

Don’t Underestimate the Power of YouTube

TNW covers the top ten YouTube Videos for 2010 very well.  The two that interested me are

  • “The Bed Intruder Song” (#1) — revenue from this video eventually made enough money for Antoine Dodson to buy a new house for his family.
  • And my personal favorite is “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” (#5) which I understand helped increase sales of Old Spice products by 107%!

Mia Quagliarello, YouTube Community Manager had this to say about the impact of YouTube:

The most-watched YouTube videos of 2010 reflect the people, places and events that captured our attention and imagination throughout the year. YouTube has become the world’s town square – a place where culture is created and shared. It’s a sign of YouTube’s growing importance as a platform for content creation that six of the top 10 most-watched videos globally were made-for-YouTube originals.”  (italics mine)

Here is the Number 1 YouTube for 2010: Auto-Tune the News: BED INTRUDER SONG!!!, 52,517,716 Views as of 12/18/10:

This video was produced by YouTube partner Auto-Tune the News. Inspired by a local news segment, this song featured an ‘auto-tuned’ version of Alabama man Antoine Dodson, which entered the music charts, and generated substantial revenue for Dodson and his producers.

Sex Sells

Important in my list because it’s been reported that these sexy guy videos helped Old Spice up its sales by 107%.  And you have to admit, even though the stuff he does is silly, he’s a sexy guy.  25,699,279 Views as of 12/18/10.

What are you going to YouTube?

If you have a brand, I hope you have a YouTube Channel – There are dozens of ways to promote your YouTube, look for a blurb on that specifically, in the near future.

And you may not be aware that since Google bought YouTube, they give heavy value in search results to sites that host YouTube videos as a way to promote their own brand.

Shameless Self Promotion

Yeah, baby, shameless self promotion isn’t just for you and me . . . Google does it with YouTube, Facebook does it with “Places” . . . after all, this is the internet.  Exploitation of cyber resources at its very best (and worst).  But, you can leverage Google’s desire to promote YouTube to get your site a higher ranking because you have YouTube Videos. You do, don’t you?