Why Putting People First Makes Good Business Sense

No business that strategizes around making people happy by giving them a voice and a sense that they have a stake in your business will experience less wealth. In the simplest sense we are talking about building relationships and communities around our business and the products and services we produce.


Here’s the bottom line: Putting people first is a different and a better way to think and to measure success. When we filter everything we say and do through the “putting people first” principle, we end up with a company that features the following:
1. The best products and services we can produce, because that is what people want and need.
2 Employees who are enthusiastic about their jobs and are given the responsibility and the ability to always say “yes” to customers by providing a solution, because that is what people want and need.
3. Products and services that offer great value at a fair price, because that is what people want and need.
4. A growing number of loyal and new customers, because you provide what people want and need.
5. Strong revenues and increased margins, because you provide what people want and need.
6. A company that never violates its values or acts unethically, because your focus is on people, not profits.
7. A company that communities vie for, because you provide what people want and need.
Of course, for any model to work, you must believe, you must be passionate in that belief and you must work hard to make the business achieve its goals and objectives.

10 Easy Ways to Get More Facebook Likes for Your Business Page

In order to achieve success on Facebook you need a community. That’s a fact. If you don’t have a community, you don’t have anyone listening to you, and if there’s no one listening to you, it’s difficult to build brand awareness and deliver ROI.

You need a community filled with people who like you and share your content with like-minded friends. But it’s not just about the quantity of Facebook likes that you collect, it’s about the quality; attracting Facebook likes from a group targeted to suit your business goals whose comments (and endorsement!) can increase your shares on Facebook.

So here are ten quick and easy tips to drive targeted Facebook likes to your business page.

1. Complete your Facebook Business Page Profile

Your Facebook Page is the first thing people see when they come to visit you on Facebook. Let visitors know why they should like you! Create a catchy description and make sure you categorize your page correctly. Also make sure to list your address, phone number and hours of operation (if applicable). Not only will this inform your potential followers, it will tell Facebook what kind of organization you are you so they know to show your page when users are searching for companies like yours – which can increase your Facebook likes even more!

2. Ask friends, business partners and other contacts to like you on Facebook

Friends are like underpants. Some snap under pressure, some are a little twisted, but some will give you support. When you first create a Facebook Page invite your supportive friends, family and business partners to like your Facebook Page. These initial likes will give you higher social media credibility and visibility. Then, alert your customers, prospects and your other social communities, and promote your Facebook page anywhere you mention your website. If people don’t know your Facebook page exists, they can’t like it.

3. Add social plugins to your website

Visitors on your website should be able to  find your Facebook Page easily. My recommendation is to use Facebook’s Social Plugins, like the Like box plugin, to get more Facebook likes. These plugins include a like button, your recent posts, and pictures of some of your fans.

4. Find out what interests your community

With Facebook’s new Graph Search it’s really easy to find out what interests your target community, and post relevant content to increase Facebook likes.

Here’s an example:

Let’s say that I have a Facebook Page for my new pizza restaurant in San Francisco. To learn more about my target community’s interests, I search for “Favorite interests of people who like Restaurants and live in San Francisco, California.“ Facebook tells me that my target community also likes cooking, wine tasting and traveling.

Facebook Graph Search Results

 

 

 

 

I also want to see the interests of my competitors’ communities, so I search for “Favorite interests of people who like Pizza Hut and Domino’s Pizza,” and I find out that they like cooking, chocolate chip cookies, eating, food and partying.

This information is great to have at hand when I’m thinking about what to post on my Facebook page. By posting content that my audience is interested in (for example, suggesting which wines go well with my pizza) they will share it with their friends and help me get more Facebook likes. This same content will also attract likes from people who come to my Facebook page from my website, email signature, or a Facebook search.

5. Use Facebook Ads

Facebook ads are another great way to increase Facebook likes. To get the most out of your ads, you can target by your community’s interests to find people similar to your current fans.
In the image below, you can see how I’ve used the information that I got from Graph Search and how I’ve targeted my ad for my new pizza place.

Facebook Ads

 

 

 

 

Experiment with different types of ads to see what works best for your organization, and make sure you choose the option that allows Facebook users to like your page directly from the ad.

6. Run a contest

There are many companies that have created successful contests on Facebook that resulted in many thousands of Facebook likes. But there are some things that you need to know before you create your own contest. For starters, make sure that your contest follows Facebook’s promotion guidelines. Your contest must use a Facebook app, which allows you to create a fan-gate, so that only those who first like your page can participate in the contest. Apps also have a unique URL, so you can promote your contest with a Facebook ad and increase Facebook likes even more.

Also, when you create a contest make sure that your app is working for mobile users, that the content of the contest is funny, that it’s easy to participate and that the contest encourage users to share their result and participation with their friends.

7. Like, and interact with, other companies

Did you know that you can engage with other company pages as your Business Page on Facebook? This is a great way to build awareness among like-minded companies and their followers.  To do this, visit your Facebook Page, click on “Edit Page” in your Admin Panel and select “Use Facebook as YourPage.”

Facebook Like as Page

Finding companies to like and interact with is easy. Use Graph search and search for e.g. companies, pages, places that is of interests for your company and like these Pages (you can’t like personal profiles).

After you have liked some Pages, you can view your company’s Newsfeed and engage with the pages you like. Not only is the company likely to follow you back, but their engagement with your page will help you increase Facebook likes amongst their followers as well.

8. Publish engaging content

It’s important to publish engaging, entertaining and interesting posts on a regular basis, and to keep an eye out for the posts that get the most engagement. If your posts are valuable to your followers, then they will share your posts with their friends, helping you increase your Facebook likes. Images are among the best types of post for driving engagement so make sure you publish images your followers can relate to and will like. You may also want to include calls to action in some of your posts, asking followers to like, comment or share your content, or ask your community a question.

9. Be active

By now you know that you should publish engaging, interesting and entertaining content. But how often should you post? There is no magic number but there are best practices and analytics to guide you. Post at least one status update per day, and experiment with the timing of your posts to see when the majority of your followers are active. People are unlikely to like your Facebook page if you don’t post regularly – and they certainly won’t engage with your content (or help you get more likes) if they don’t see your posts.

10. Measure, analyze and learn

Use Facebook Insights to find useful metrics on your page performance. You can see things like reach (how many users are seeing your posts), engaged users (how many users engage with your posts) and new likes (when and why do you get new followers). These metrics will help you understand what’s driving your likes and engagement, so that you can adjust your posts accordingly. If you would like to know if you have good engagement, or want other recommendations for improvement, try out our free Facebook analytics tool, LikeAlyzer.

Would you like to add any tips for getting more Facebook likes? Did I forget something? Please add a comment and, if you like the post, feel free to share it with your friends

Why Outsourcing a Blog Might Be Smart

This headline, sent to me by a colleague, appeared in a recent issue of the Wall Street Journal: “Should You Outsource Your Company Blog?” Like most questions addressed in communications, marketing and other similar fields, the answer is — Maybe. It depends.


1. If the company doesn’t have a communications or a marketing department, maybe you should.
2. If the company doesn’t have an executive spokesperson with the time, maybe you should.
3. If the company’s Legal and/or HR departments need to approve outgoing comments, maybe you should, but only if those departments get out of the way. Otherwise, don’t do a blog.
Or maybe not. And here are the arguments, as I understand them, against outsourcing the company blog. The point of blogging is:
1. Having an authentic voice.
2. Giving customers a personal connection to the company.
3. Ghostwriters do neither.
Well, pardon me, but who do you think writes executive speeches, letters from the CEO, and all those personal words to shareholders one finds in the Annual Report, and web site content, and most of the pithy executive quotes found in newspapers? Guys and gals such as me. I also write and manage several company blogs, who are my clients. As the period on the sentence, none of those things are done without interviewing executives and employees, studying the company and its customers, and, finally, getting approval from the company spokesperson for everything I write.
Would it be better if someone from the company wrote the blog? Maybe, maybe not. When work is outsourced, the consultants often have more influence over the executives and more freedom from message management. And if we’re fired, we haven’t lost our jobs, just a job. We don’t have the pressure of saying what we think the company wants to hear, at least many of us don’t. More important, key inhouse staff are focusing on their other jobs and responsibilities, while gaining the outsider points of view and expertise, which are then translated into blog posts.
So, there you have it. One consultant’s take on outsourcing blogging. Not right. Not wrong. It just depends.

The Art of Blog Marketing

This is a story about building relationships online through blogging and how connecting and sharing is about the art of marketing. For this post, we will leave science aside, except for the technology required to blog.


Over Memorial Day weekend, a group of us met in NYC to honor CK and her recently passed momma, Sandra J. Kerley, with a tree planted in a corner of a Spanish Harlem family garden. The spot is a haven of green among the concrete, brick, glass and steel setting. Five of us gathered with CK, but many participated in the celebration through their generous donations. Some who could not join us called to speak with CK.
In the group were Drew McLellan,
David Reich,
Luc Debaisieux,
Valeria Maltoni, and me. Drew and his family flew in from Des Moines, David drove from the ‘burbs, Luc came all the way from Belgium, Valeria trained from Philadelphia and I took the commuter line from New Haven. If you want to read more about the event, each of us posted or you can click here to read my post and see the photos.
The gathering made me think about what brought us and so many of you together. The tool was blogging but the strategy that connects us is that of relationship building. Each of us believes that life and the part of it we call business require the art of connection to grow. Anyone can blog. It doesn’t require either great technical or writing skill to do so. But among the bloggers who I have met in-person and online, a sense of sharing, connecting and getting to know others is inherent within us. And that is a basic principle in marketing.
At the end of the day, marketing is not about products, services, technology, advertising, public relations, or traditional tools. It is about creating connections, what some of us may call experiences. Successful marketing gives people a reason to care about us. In business we may call the “us” our brand. That is also true in life.
Why did we gather in New York City, a group of strangers, some of whom had previously met, others who had never met face-to-face? We cared about each other. We had connected. We wanted to be part of the brand experience (honoring CK and becoming friends). This may seem a strange analogy. To some it may seem a bad and heartless analogy, as we are talking about a friend’s loss. But to clarify, I am talking about love for a friend and caring for her. I am talking about what we gained through CK’s loss.
And that’s what customers feel about brands that they are loyal to: Harley-Davidson, Starbucks, Apple, VW, Coke or Pepsi. Those companies have connected with their customers. They share their human sides, build relationships, and become friends to and with their customers.
They do so by telling stories and touching our emotional sides with those stories. The 40-something accountant who loves the rumble of a Harley. The 30-something mom who cherishes her escape to Starbucks Third Place Experience. The Mac lovers who hold onto their minority but special status.
These things don’t just happen. They happen because of the art of marketing. That same art applied to our personal lives and our businesses is producing enduring relationships, more sharing opportunities by writing for other blogs such as the Daily Fix, and work opportunities. All because of relationship building. Like me, I suspect most of you have a similar story.

Can Blogging Work as a Marketing Tool?

Yes, it can. My two most recent clients hired me because of what they read on my blog and at my Web site. That is significant because for marketing to be accepted and effective, it must result in sales. I know some disagree, and that’s one of the great things about this medium. It is interactive, immediate, and informal… key ingredients to good communications.


When I first started blogging nearly a year ago (my first anniversary is June 13), one of my goals was to use my site the same as I use all my outlets for writing–as a way to brand myself and my business. But to be successful, my branding efforts must lead to work. Newspaper and magazine articles, as well as TV and radio guest appearances and my books have always done that. I saw no reason why blogging shouldn’t be able to build my brand image, market my business philosophy and values, offer lot of free content for my readers, and lead to work. It has.
The point I want to make is that blogging does not need to be sold only as a way to have a conversation with your readers, customers and clients. While that is a good thing in and of itself, I don’t believe it is the right argument to make when we offer blogging (or any of the social media tools) to our business clients.
The primary purpose of a business is sales. And every marketing tool should support that purpose. I now have proof that blogging does, when done correctly and when our posts serve our reader’s wants and needs, the basic foundation of all marketing and branding efforts.
Here is my challenge to you: If you believe that blogging is an effective marketing tool, pretend that we are potential customers and clients and give us your best pitch. If you don’t believe that this medium can be an effective marketing tool, tell us why.

10 Tips for Keeping Your Blog Fresh

Even the best bread goes stale in a few days. After a year of blogging and sharing marketing ideas, is it possible bloggers go stale, as well? I think the answer is yes. But does that mean we should shut the doors on our blogs and fade quietly into the background?


I think not. There is hope for refreshing and reinvigorating our posts to keep our readers interested, and I don’t believe it includes writing less.
Here are some of my thoughts. What are yours?
1. If you haven’t already done so, create a plan with measurable goals. Doing so will keep you focused and consistent, helping your readers understand what matters to you. If you don’t know wwhy you blog and where you are going, how can your readers follow your journey. And if you aren’t tracking goals, how do you know the impact of your blog.
2. Search the news and business wires for today’s hot business topics.
3. Cover those topics using a slightly different angle and ask questions for your readers to think about and reply to if they wish.
4. Write shorter. Most of us don’t have time to read a long treatise on any subject.
5. Inject your opinion but not so strongly that your readers feel no room exists for their thoughts.
6. Write the way you talk. Write simply. Save the big words for your great American novel. No one wants us to prove how smart we are. The writing shapes the ideas, not our vocabulary.
7. Keep to the subjects promised in your masthead and “About You” page. If you are a marketing blog, mostly stick to that subject. Readers seek familiarity when they visit.
8. Throw in a fun post once a week, such as interesting tidbits about others or music or books or TV or movies. Make it a regular feature so your reader’s expectations are met.
9. Occasionally, be provocative, which is a great way to get readers involved in big ideas. Be sure the subject is big enough to handle provocation.
10. Use names, pictures and stories of other bloggers. We like to see our names in print.
Finally, write for readers, not links. When we write for readers, we create words and ideas that are authentic, heart-felt, credible and worth reading. Readers are the audience, and in writing for our audience, the links will come. Going back to my first professional writing job, my editor told me repeatedly to write for readers, not for myself. All of my subsequent editors ensured that I remembered that lesson.
Your turn. Agree or disagree, share your secrets and ideas. How do you keep your readers coming back? What works and what doesn’t?

Determine, Level, Happiness, Quotient, Consumers

1. DetermineExample Sentences: Verb
§ The purpose of this line of inquiry was to determine whether children would object to the stupid questions or simply answer them.
§ Tells the procedure used to determine where to drill a rescue hole.
§ But some researchers say it’s too soon to use the variation to determine treatment.
§ By following these guidelines it becomes easier to determine whether or not you have really found a fossil bone.
§ Besides staging games that are exciting and safe, three criteria will determine how well it does.
§ Together, cycle life and calendar life determine how long a battery will be useful.
§ The size and strength of the bubbles determine the durability of the meringue.
§ State policies also determine a teacher certification requirement-meaning who gets to teach and who doesn’t get to teach.
§ The professors harvested tweets for key words and plugged them into an algorithm to determine the mood of the broader market.
§ If a gun is recovered, a forensic scientist test-fires it to determine the markings it leaves on bullets and cartridge casings.

Main Entry: determine  [dih-tur-min]
Part of Speech: verb
Definition: conclude, decide
Synonyms: actuate, arbitrate, call the shots, cinch, clinch, complete, dispose, drive, end, figure, finish, fix upon, halt, impel, incline, induce, move, nail down, opt, ordain, persuade, pin down, predispose, regulate, resolve, rule, settle, take a decision, tap, terminate, ultimate, wind up, wrap up Antonyms: begin, start

2. Level
Example Sentences: adjective
Other Examples

  • The new faculty member will teach introductory chemistry and upper level inorganic chemistry and will direct student research.
  • Adjust position of grill if necessary so grill and liquid in pan are level.
  • But this ignores the fact that the level of water vapour depends on temperature.
  • The searchable site allows visitors to indicate a grade level and subject area for resources tailored to specific needs.
  • Then pull off any foliage or flowers that will be below the water level in the vase.

Noun

  • Many animals have some level of social intelligence, allowing them to coexist and cooperate with other members of their species.
  • Her garden is situated downhill from her house, but she wanted an outdoor dining area at house level.
  • Yet discussions regarding implementing a single payer system at the state or national level seem to be taboo.
  • Brant cannot claim that level of renown, but his résumé is not shabby.
  • Sea level rise affects more than beaches and oceanfront land owners.

Main Entry: level  [lev-uhl]
Part of Speech: adjective
Definition: smooth, balanced
Synonyms: akin, aligned, alike, calm, commensurate, common, comparable, consistent, constant, continuous, equable, equivalent, even, exact, flat, flush, horizontal, identical, in line, leveled, like, lined up, matched, matching, of same height, on a line, on a par, on one plane, parallel, plain, planate, plane, planed, polished, precise, proportionate, regular, rolled, same, stable, steady, straight, trim, trimmed, unbroken, unfluctuating, uniform, uninterrupted
Antonyms: ragged, uneven

3. Happiness
Main Entry: happiness [hap-ee-nis]
Part of Speech: noun
Definition: high spirits, satisfaction
Synonyms: beatitude, blessedness, bliss, cheer, cheerfulness, cheeriness, content, contentment, delectation, delight, delirium, ecstasy, elation, enchantment, enjoyment, euphoria, exhilaration, exuberance, felicity, gaiety, geniality, gladness, glee, good cheer, good humor, good spirits, hilarity, hopefulness, joviality, joy, jubilation, laughter, lightheartedness, merriment, mirth, optimism, paradise, peace of mind, playfulness, pleasure, prosperity, rejoicing, sanctity, seventh heaven, vivacity, well-being
Antonyms: depression, gloom, misery, pain, sadness, sorrow, unhappiness, woe

4. Quotient
Example Sentences
Noun
§ It could jack up the entertainment quotient, he says.
§ Since he has achieved all these goals, and is a happy surgeon, his happiness quotient is high.
§ Cramming bold flavors into lean proteins helps with the satisfaction quotient.
§ My system of writing was to type my way through successive drafts until their ungainliness quotient declined.
§ His video spots are always edited tightly to get the maximum laugh quotient.
§ Intelligence quotient and economic status have nothing to do with anything.
§ There’s a nursery where the cuteness quotient can be ratcheted up and a camera to snap photos of those special moments.
§ The number of bushels of shelled corn will be two-thirds of the quotient
Main Entry: quotient  [kwoh-shuhnt]
Part of Speech: noun
Definition: outcome
Synonyms: computation, remainder, result

5. Consumer
Example Sentences
Noun
§ Even as consumer spending increases modestly, those dollars are buying fewer goods and services.
§ They argue that new network services and consumer access to vital information could be stifled by added fees.
§ But the light-speed innovations in consumer electronics have turned many of us into serial replacers.
§ Brakes-even new ones-are plagued with the problem of squeal, a major cause of consumer complaint and warranty repairs.
§ Yet it is estimated that about half such food spoils on the way to the consumer.
§ Become a smart consumer and learn what natural and organic labels mean.
§ But ads in the trade papers have been slashed, as have campaigns in the big consumer newspapers.
§ It seems that every generation needs its public, tweedy, literary personality to sell its consumer electronics.
§ Recycling also helps reuse and conserve valuable resources, reducing the need for fresh materials in creating consumer products.
§ Cheap plastic has unleashed a flood of consumer goods.
Main Entry: consumer  [kuhn-soo-mer]
Part of Speech: noun
Definition: person who buys merchandise, services
Synonyms: buyer, customer, end user, enjoyer, purchaser, shopper, user
Antonyms: marketer, merchandiser

Source:
Roget’s 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition. Copyright © 2012 by the Philip Lief Group.