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.

Great Buzz: Unicorn Sighting Reported In Don Valley

Looking for buzz, and don’t have any ideas how to make it happen for your favorite project?

The Ontario Science Center, promoting a new exhibit called “Mythic Creatures: Dragons, Unicorns, & Mermaids,” made a viral video hoax that is quite good from concept to execution.  They have it listed on their website as “Strange Encounters: Video Evidence or Hoax?”

According to Jeremy Scott in ReelSEO, the online marketer’s guide:

Creating a video that causes the viewer to wonder if what they’ve seen is real or fake is one of the most reliable paths to viral success. And though most everyone knew this one was a hoax from the beginning, the museum is still playing along and acting coy—they’ve issued warnings about what to do if you spot a unicorn in the wild—don’t use sudden movements or flash photography! And they have also voiced concerns about the safety of unicorns and humans should the creatures get too close to civilization and become frightened. Hilarious.

So, how does one generate true buzz?

When I found it, there had been more than 150,000 views on YouTube. He’s right: This little vid should be considered a great success.

Lesson to be learned? When you’re looking for buzz, you may be looking in all the wrong places! Or at least thinking in all the wrong places. I read somewhere (and forgive me, whoever said this first)

No more thinking outside the box. There is NO box.


Very Zen.  And it should be rule number one when you’re working on your next buzz campaign.

Thesis: Image in Post Title

I am still looking for ways to make my WordPress blogs look better.  I really don’t want my blogs to look like anyone else’s, and I want them to be pretty.  If you like the way it looks, my theory is, you’ll stay longer than if it looks like the ’40s and untouched by human hands!

You may already know I am mad about the Thesis Framework for WordPress, since lately it is almost all I write about here.

This trick is slick, takes about three minutes to implement, not counting the creative work on the image, and makes your blogs look more polished, and most important to me, more individualized.  If you want a picture next to the post title, here is how to include it in Thesis for WordPress.

I got pumped about the file folder images I used to substitute for the navigation bar, so I picked the guitar one (it is Blog like a RockStar, after all) and after loading the image, made additions to two files.

The CSS file needs this code:

/* Add Avatar Before Headline sitewide */.custom .title-avatar { float:left; margin: 0 1em 0 0;}


The Custom Functions File file needs this code:

/*Add Avatar Before Headline sitewide*/function author_avatar() { echo 'img class="title-avatar" src="http://Your-Website.com/wp-content/images/Your-Image-File.gif"  /'; } add_action('thesis_hook_before_headline', 'author_avatar');


Have I told you lately how crazy I am about the Thesis framework? So cool.

My next planned topic is a tutorial for adding customization to sidebars: adding images to sidebar headers, or using color to highlight your sidebars and headings, using Thesis framework for WordPress.

Rock On!

Substituting images for the standard navigation bar in Thesis

One of my most favorite clients, Indulge With AniciaB.Com, had some pretty cool images done for a nav bar.  I wasn’t too excited, because I thought it would be really difficult to put together and make it look as slick as the rest of her site did.  I’ve got a ton of hours in this site, as do AniciaB, and her assistants.  It is a work of love for all of us.

Well, check it out:

Is this sexy, or what?

I was so thrilled with the way it looked, that I set out to change the look of my own website, TraciGregory.Com.  So, I redid the logo (different post) and made my own set of images from various places (free icon sets mostly) and replaced my plain-jane navigation bar with them.  The results:

I love this!

So, how hard is it with thesis?  Piece of cake. I learned how to do this from Somone Bull, the enthusiastic Aussie behind Thesis Theme HQ

  • the first step is to add the Openhook Plugin, which makes operating the Thesis framework practically child’s play.
  • then, with the Openhook Plugin activated, find “Feature Box“.  (Thesis Openhook is listed under Appearance in your WordPress menu.)  Here you will enter the HTML that is your nav bar.  I’ve included html similar to the TraciGregory.Com website as it is considerably smaller than the IWAB site, and you don’t really need to see a dozen image links repeated. I’ve centered my links as there are only five, we know they aren’t going to fill the space.
<br />
<a title="Home" href="http://yourwebsite.com/specific-url"><img src="http://yoursite.com/your image file.gif" alt="" /></a> <br />
<a title="About" href="http://yourwebsite.com/specific-url"><img src="http://yoursite.com/your image file.gif" alt="" /></a>  <br />
<a title="Contact" href="http://yourwebsite.com/specific-url"><img src="http://yoursite.com/your image file.gif" alt="" /></a>  <br />
<a title="Video" href="http://yourwebsite.com/specific-url"><img src="http://yoursite.com/your image file.gif" alt="" /></a> <br />
<a title="Subscribe" href="http://yourwebsite.com/specific-url"><img src="http://yoursite.com/your image file.gif" alt="" /></a> <br />






You will need CSS code specific to your image based navigation, mine is below.  This is to be added in the Custom File Editor, the custom/custom.css file. ( I always date and name the additions I make to the CSS file and custom/custom_functions.php files so they are easy to find – and fix – or edit later.)

<br />
/* 10/30  RockStar Feature Box Images for Nav Bar*/<br />
.custom #feature_box {<br />
background: #fff;<br />
border: none;<br />
margin-right: 45px;<br />
padding-left: 45px;<br />
padding-right: 45px;<br />
}<br />






If you’re previewing your work, you’ll see you have the standard Nav Bar in its place, and the images Nav Bar below the header.  Is time to turn off the standard Nav Bar on the Openhook plugin page.  In the Before Header Section there is a box to Remove Thesis nav menu

And finally, you have to turn on the feature box in the Thesis Controls: Design Options: Feature Box.  Choose placement, AND home page or sitewide.  In this instance it is Full-width Above Content and Sidebars.  After you’ve made that choice, the option for the pages you want is available.

Find your images, and put them up for your navigation bar.  Give your site your personal, original look.  And, as always, Rock On!

Facebook People

I use Facebook on a limited basis for my personal life.  I enjoy seeing what other people have to say (some of the time) and try to remember that all these people wanted other people looking at their lives, or they wouldn’t post it on Facebook.  Meaning I’m not a voyeur, even if this stuff makes me feel like one.

There is a larger difference in me and them that is illuminated by the lunch I had with my 23 year-old-daughter (the one on the dean’s list at GSU).

I made a salad with spring greens and grilled salmon.  I added a balsamic vinaigrette. She added croutons, raisins, pecans and a fresh peach before the balsamic.

I put a fork in my salad, and she opened up her MAC, pointed the screen at her plate, and posted a picture on Facebook.

 

 

There’s a scene in the movie Hostage where intruders in a home invasion trigger the alarm.  One of the intruders, looking at the windows being covered and bars going across the doors, remarks disparagingly, “fucking rich people.”  These are people he doesn’t understand.  Will never understand.

Bruce Willis, the cop who will save the day, watches the same security activity from the outside and murmurs (equally disparaging, because he doesn’t get them either),   “fucking rich people.”

Perhaps you get my drift.

Track your social influence

This is a fun site, and we all need more cool ways to waste time on the net, yes? Oh, yeah.

So the Influence Project lets you establish a baseline and then spread your influence, and they will keep up with your level of success.   They have a slick interface, you can sign on with Facebook and track your influence . . . First thing I’ve seen on facebook in a long, long time that I really, really like . . .

http://fcinf.com/v/b6r8

I don’t want to be a Rock Star!

You’re kidding, right? You don’t want to be a Rock Star?

I had an interesting talk with a client, who gave me a whole new appreciation of English as we know it.

I don’t want to be a RockStar!  I don’t want ‘fans’ ~~ I’m not a celebrity, and I don’t want to be.

As I explained to my slightly testy guy, I realized that I’ve adopted a vernacular meaningful to me (and other people in my life) but not necessarily to the people I want as clients.

I told him that “Blogging Like a RockStar” doesn’t include sex, drugs or rock’n’roll.  It is a phrase I’ve adopted that means one blogs like a professional, blogs and gets ‘buzz’; blogs and creates ‘google-juice. I consider it just more Web 2.0 jargon, as is the “Fan Page” on Facebook.

Ironically, FaceBook, in naming its company pages ‘Fan Pages’ has furthered that impression of performance-related media – that of a celebrity, or  . . . RockStar and not  an ordinary (or extraordinary) business page .

They (FaceBook) needed to name them something, and that’s what they picked. It is unfortunate, because by design it is a methodology designed for businesses in order for them to grow and nurture their own community within Facebook. They’re moving away from that name, but it is what we’ve got, and millions of FB users know what it is and what to expect from it.

So, I bid you, Blog like a RockStar! and get those Fan Pages at Facebook!  Become a star in your own right, whether you’re rockin’ or not.

As always,

Rock On!

Your blog represents . . . You

Your blog is the most personal thing you will ever show the world.

Present anyway you want, most of the people who see it will never see you. If your blog’s job is to promote you and generate revenue, then you are going to meet people. Via phone, email, or in person.

And, any way you look at it, if your blog is your paycheck, you want to present the very best, most professional image possible, as well as showing off the edge you have on the work you do (and that includes displaying some “edginess” in your presentation). So, are you going to buy one of those canned websites that everyone else in your profession has? Google “mortgage broker”, or “real estate agent”; you’ll get a thousand iterations of the same brand because sales people know they have to have a web presence, but they don’t have the knowledge, or time to hone their skills, so they load their credit card information into a self-replicating web-site purchase engine, get their log-on and password and put in their contact details, and maybe their photo, and sit back and wait for the business to roll in.

Come on, do you really think that will work webmagic for you?

I know it is easy and I also know it isn’t always cheap. But even if it was cheap and easy, would it be in anyone’s best interest? Probably Not. Making a splash on the internet, really creating buzz for your business, giving your pages GoogleJuice? For that you do need time, along with the knowledge of not only what you need but how to get it, some money, but probably not as much as you’d think to launch a blog and make it powerful enough to create webmagic, managed social networking for the best viral marketing campaign you can create. And don’t forget,while you’re doing all that, you need to create fresh content for your blog readers, as their numbers grow.

So you need on the short list, Linked In, Facebook, Twitter.

You need to start publishing those articles to e-zines, and you need to make sure you feed is available in at 57 variations for everyone out there because you never know what they’ll want. Well not 57, but sufficient choices. an RSS feed, an email option, do you want to also use Atom? Decisions, decisions, but hurry, cos those articles are still waiting . . . .