• Russ Fradin
    Russ Fradin on July 29, 2014

    Why Employee Advocacy Matters

    Employee advocacy is an emerging new marketing strategy where companies empower their influential employees to authentically distribute brand approved content, create original content, and in turn earn recognition and rewards for their activity and participation.
  • alexmoffit
    Alex Moffit on September 4, 2014

    John Doerr on OKRs and Goal Setting at Google and Intel [VIDEO]

    “Ideas are precious, but they’re relatively easy. It’s execution that’s everything,” says John Doerr, partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and the man who introduced Objective & Key Results (OKRs) to Google. Google widely credits OKRs for helping the company grow from 40 to 40,000 employees. Other businesses including LinkedIn and Twitter have also embraced OKRs.
  • Greg Gerik
    Greg Gerik on September 16, 2014

    Shaking Up Social: Attending the Social Shake-Up in Atlanta

    Last year, the Social Shake-Up was one of the best social conferences to attend and this year promises to be even better. Here are a few of the hottest topics and sessions at the Shake-Up this year that are sure to deliver and drive this industry forward.
  • ddarnbrough
    Drew Darnbrough on September 19, 2014

    The Power of Hindsight: Using Historical Twitter Data to Make Better Decisions

    WEBINAR: Tuesday, September 23rd, 11:30am EDT How many times have you looked back and thought, “If only I’d known x”? We’ve all experienced the power of hindsight, and luckily now businesses can harness that power by analyzing historical social data.
  • As a social platform, LinkedIn takes it lumps. There is the perception that it is a business job site, corporate networking site, not as good for business development as other platforms, and so on. But, ignoring LinkedIn in your small business marketing strategy is folly.
    As a social platform, LinkedIn takes it lumps.  There is the perception that it is a business job site, corporate networking site, not as good for business development as other platforms, and so on.  But, ignoring LinkedIn in your small business marketing strategy is folly.  If your business sells to other businesses LinkedIn is a great place to be.  If you market to consumers, LinkedIn has over 300 million users.

    This infographic by http://www.smeinsider.com/  highlights some numbers that show how attractive LinkedIn is and why it should be included in your marketing system.

    You can begin conversations in groups, share content, write and share articles, have a detailed profile, etc.  Your efforts can bring traffic to your digital properties, lead to conversations, create leads and so on.  These connections aren’t random, they are people who have likely seen your profile and read your contributions and have chosen to communicate with you.  While the numbers may not be as high as other social platforms, the people on LinkedIn are much more focused and likely to be good leads.

    Do you use LinkedIn?  What works best for you?

    Why LinkedIn is so good for small business marketing

    Grab a free copy of the list we made of the best marketing tools!

    Many salespeople and managers haven’t figured out how to incorporate CRM tools into their work flow. They think of using CRM as another task piled onto already packed, often unrealistic agendas.

    I’m working with an organization implementing its first CRM system.  They’re both excited about the tool, but worried about it.

    One of the managers just came to me, saying, “The people are worried.  As you know they’re already running full out.  They want to use the tool, but they’re worried about the time that it will take from their day.  How much time should the be spending on the CRM system each day?”

    My knee jerk reaction was to provide one of my two standard responses, “It depends…..”  or “It takes what it takes, man up (or woman up as the case may be).”

    But then I reflected on the question.  It’s a good question.  It’s one that I know concerns sales people and managers, but most don’t have the courage to ask.

    The question also shows they haven’t figured out how to incorporate the tool into their work flow.  They think of using CRM as another task piled onto already packed, often unrealistic agendas.

    So I thought about the response to this great question.  I don’t have the complete answer but here’s a start.

    How much time does a sales person spend every day, every week planning their schedule–arranging meetings, sending invites, putting them into their calendar?  With CRM, it will take the same time, except you will be using the tools embedded in the CRM system to help do this.

    Likewise, how much time to spend developing and updating your to do lists?  With CRM it will take the same amount of time–except the context of the to dos will be far more powerful.  They may be to dos and follow ups related to an opportunity, questions your customer might have, projects you are working on.  Since all of these can be associated with the opportunities, accounts, customers, questions, as you think about the context of the to dos, it’s all right in the system for you to refer to.  It’s not something you have to go look up separately to realize, “Oh, that’s why it’s on my to-do list.”

    How much time do you spend thinking about and developing your deal strategies each week?  With CRM it will take you the same.  But with the added benefit, that most CRM systems add tools to help you think more deeply about deal and call strategies, help you be more consistent about what you are doing, provide the historical perspective, if you keep your notes up, leverage the capabilities of the systems, it will help improve the quality of your thinking on your next steps in moving a deal through the process.

    How much time to you spend researching, finding the right materials, case studies, playbooks and other things to help you with a call or deal or to provide the customer information they are asking for.  First of all you have to remember all the stuff that you have.  Then you have to find out where it is–even if you have a shared drive, tools like SharePoint, and so forth, you still have to locate the stuff.  Most CRM systems have “Library” tools that manage this and make it easy for you.  Plus there are a lot of add ons to CRM that make it even easier to find the right piece (based on how others use and react to it) for the right customer at the right time.  So it’s a huge time saver.

    How much time to you spend analyzing your pipeline, looking at your customers, accounts, and territory, figuring out what it takes to make your number, what you should be doing next?   Here’s where CRM starts becoming a real time multiplier.  Without a CRM system, you probably have the information spread across lots of documents, spread sheets, pieces of paper, vague memories or thoughts you tucked away in your brain, or, if you’re like me, lots of scribbled notes on Post It’s.

    Here’s where the real power and “time savings” of CRM tools come into play.  It’s all in one place!  You don’t have to waste time trying to find the stuff.  On top of that, virtually every system has very powerful reporting and analysis tools that help you understand what’s happening, figure out what’s going on, see patterns in your performance or in your customers or territory.  These tools can help you see things that you might have been blind to in the past.

    But there’s so much more.

    How much time to you spend updating your pipeline’s each week?  With this particular customer, I know each sales person spend 30-60 minutes updating their pipelines each week.  It’s a mind numbing task of finding the right spreadsheet, updating the right fields, sometimes cutting/pasting from one spreadsheet to another.  It may be worse–looking back through your notes for the week, trying to remember what happened, thinking about what steps you’ve moved through in the sales process, and so on.  With CRM, the time drops to zero.  It does it for you, automatically in real time.  As long as you are keeping the deals you are working on updated in the CRM system, the pipeline is always updated.

    So that brings up the ugly issue–I have to go in and update my CRM system, notes after all my calls and meetings.  That takes a whole lot of additional time transcribing things.  Well, Yes and No.  First of all, the vendors are taking a lot of this task away by providing rich capabilities on mobile devices.  But I’ll admit.  I’m still and old fashioned engineering notebook and pen person.  I like to write notes in my notebook.  It’s easier, never have to worry about power or wifi.

    I take lots of notes during meetings.  Do I transcribe all of them to my CRM system?  Well No and Yes.  Most of the time, I write a few sentence summary into the opportunity record.  I do this as I’m thinking about the results of the meeting and adding the next steps, meetings, tasks and to dos I have to take to move the deal forward.  Sometimes, when there are lots of things that I really want to remember, all I do is take pictures of the right pages in my notebook and attach them to the opportunity.  Then I can always go back to the notes very easily.  How much time does that take?  Not a whole lot, and I’m in the system anyway using it to schedule the next steps.

    Let’s get back to all those nuisance reports management asks of sales people.  How much time do you spend each week preparing a report to respond to whatever whim someone up the food chain has?  Well now you don’t have to do that.  Management can go into the system themselves, search, analyze, generate their own reports.  (Hopefully, management isn’t wasting your time by asking you to generate the report for them—that’s an entirely different problem!!)

    I’ll stop here, you are getting the idea.  The thing new CRM users don’t understand–as well as so many who have really flawed implementations.  CRM is not something additional that we add to all the stuff we do every day.  It’s something that we integrate into our workflow–perhaps improving our workflow along the way.  It enables us to do the stuff we do every day–as well as the stuff we should be doing, but don’t, in the same amount of time (or less).

    Not only does it help us become more efficient–use our time better.  Properly used, it helps us reflect, analyze, think, plan, and execute better–so it helps improve our effectiveness.

    So how much time does CRM take us?  That’s really the wrong question, the right question is, “How do we integrate the tool into our workflow, improving our workflow, improving our impact and effectiveness?  That’s the real power of CRM–unfortunately, too many seem to have lost sight of that — or never understood it in the first place.

    Segmenting audiences on Facebook is a necessary skill for all social media marketers. While Facebook’s baked-in ad targeting system is robust, it lacks certain demographic information such as a gender posting tendencies and age trends.

    Segmenting audiences on Facebook is a necessary skill for all social media marketers. While Facebook’s baked-in ad targeting system is robust, it lacks certain demographic information such as a gender posting tendencies and age trends (such as the 80% growth in users 55+). I put together a quick cheat sheet highlighting insightful demographic data about Facebook users. Did you know men post an average of 6 times a month, but women post an average of 21 times a month? How can you use this in your makerting strategy? Who should you be targeting as potential influencers for your brand?

    I then run ads (as a Custom Audience) to the people who read a specific blog post to a landing page. Now I am not “pitching” anything to a cold market as these people read my post, so they know who I am. Be on the lookout for a specific ad like that.

    If you’re not using Facebook to drive traffic to your listings, I have 3 words for you…





    I want you to get started with it asap. Don’t worry, I am going to show you exactly how to do it with step-by-step instructions and an over the should video walk through. Simple stuff.

    This has proven time and time again to be very effective in driving targeted (local) traffic to your listings. I shared a video in July of another campaign where we were driving traffic for $0.03 per click. I was very happy with those results as $0.03 per click is excellent.

    Well, we ran an ad earlier this week and beat that ad from July.

    Yup, we drove traffic for less than 3 cents per click.

    I couldn’t believe it and knew I had to put together a blog post to show you exactly how we did it. At the end of this post, you should be able to set up an ad similar to this, in less than 30 minutes, and you should be driving traffic to your listings…today!

    I also have a challenge for you at the end, too :)

    How to Drive Facebook Traffic to Your Listings for $0.01 per Visitor

    I want to share the results with you before we get in to the “How To” part of the post. You don’t want to do something that doesn’t work, right?

    This screenshot was from a couple of days ago, but we drove 192 website visitors for a total cost of $2.84.

    That is 1.5c per website visitor to this specific listing.

    This was in a matter of 8 hours or so.

    I have marketing buddies that have asked me how I did it (got lucky, I guess). I am not only showing them, but you get to see everything as well.

    Here is a screenshot from the ad account;

    How to Drive Facebook Traffic to Your Listings for $0.01 per Visitor


    Step #1 – Professional Pictures

    This is extremely important and I see a lot of agents skimp out on this.

    Hire someone to take professional pictures. It is well worth the investment. You’ll generate more interest, showings and you’ll most likely sell your homes much faster..for more money, too!

    We sold our house in June and I was blown away with the quality of the pictures the photographer took. They looked amazing! Maybe that is why we had 14 offers in 3 days and accepted an offer for $10k over list price. I was happy.

    We had close to 20 showings that weekend and I know the pictures had a lot to do with it.

    Step #2 – Post Pictures on Your Facebook Page

    (your business page, not your personal profile)

    Click on Photo/Video

    Then click on Upload Photos/Video



    Select 4 or 5 of the best looking images. I typically do the front of the home for the first picture and then 3 or 4 interior shots.

    Write a “teaser” post for the update.

    Something like this…

    JUST LISTED: Every update imaginable awaits
    you at this riverfront home which is just steps away
    to all amenities that Corunna has to offer & is on a quiet, friendly street

    Find out more here: [LINK to your listing]

    Step #3 – Open up Facebook Ads Manager

    Go to your personal Facebook profile and in the upper left corner, click on Ads Manager


    Click on the green button in the upper right corner that reads Create Ad

    Step #4 – Page Post Engagement Ads

    Click on Page Post Engagement



    Step #5 – Select Your Facebook Page

    Select your fan page.

    Select your recent Facebook post

    Click on Continue and scroll down.



    Step #6 – Remove Right Column

    Click on Remove in the lower right side of the ad. These ads are not as effective for this type of post.


    Step #7 – Your Target Market

    Custom Audiences – This isn’t necessary for this post, but should be used as they are very powerful. You can cut your ad costs in half using custom audiences. Do you have a database of clients & prospects? Did you know you can upload their email addresses into Facebook and run ads to them? There are a lot of other effective ways to use this, but that is a great place to start.

    Locations – Select your city and surrounding areas. You can do a radius of 10, 25 or 50 miles.

    Gender – You can target male or female. This can be very powerful as you can tailor your ads to each gender.

    Languages – This should be self explanatory :)

    Interests – This is another piece where you can really laser target. Does your target market like gardening? Oprah? Football? You can use the interests to target them.

    Age – Select your target market’s age range.

    Behaviors (optional) – You can select people who are likely to move. In smaller areas, you might want to leave this one out as it can really shrink down your audience.



    As you can see in the box on the image below, people between the ages of 25 – 50 and are likely to move has a potential audience of 64,000 people.

    That is a HUGE opportunity for agents here in Vegas. Check your city, you might have a bigger opportunity.



    Step #8 – Campaign and Ad Set

    Ad Set Name – You can change this if you want, but not necessary.

    Budget – You can start with as little as $1/day. I recommend $5/day at the very minimum.

    Schedule – Schedule your ad to run for a couple days or continuous — be sure to keep an eye on it.

    Bidding – For these posts I leave it on the default setting: Optimize for Page post engagement



    Click on Place Order and you ad will be live within 24 hours. Depending on if you have ran ads before, this can take a few minutes or a few hours to get approved.

    That’s it!

    If you would like to watch a video where I show you “over the shoulder” on how to do this, watch below;

    How to Drive Facebook Traffic to Your Listings for $0.01 per Visitor

    Video Tutorial


    I do this same tactic for every blog post on this site. I post a blog, share it to Facebook and run a Page Post Engagement ad on Facebook targeting my target market — Realtors in the United States.

    I encourage you to do the same with your blog posts and your listings. I do it because it works and is very effective.

    I Challenge You!

    I want you to follow the instructions in the video and run an ad to one of your listings. Run it for a day and share your results with me.

    Advanced Tip: I then run ads (as a Custom Audience) to the people who read a specific blog post to a landing page. Now I am not “pitching” anything to a cold market as these people read my post, so they know who I am. Be on the lookout for a specific ad like that.

    If you have any questions, leave it in the comments below and I will help you out.

    When your brand begins engaging in social media, your voice needs to be strongly defined for the variety and volume of conversation you are now involved in.

    Does your organization have strictly defined or loosely understood brand standards? Regardless, when your brand begins engaging in social media, your voice needs to be strongly defined for the variety and volume of conversation you are now involved in.

    Taglines and slogans can go a long way through ads in various spaces, but when you are speaking to and with real people in real-time social media experiences, a tagline just won’t cut it. Strengthen that voice and confidently engage in conversation with these 3 steps.


    It’s a simple exercise to perform on a whiteboard or notepad. Use adjectives, personality traits, or even celebrity personalities that encapsulate what your brand wants to be perceived as. The only rules for this exercise is that in your organization should clearly understand the voice. Here are some examples of what this exercise looks like:


    For B2B companies, it’s especially important to remember that you can’t just talk. Upholding an incredibly buttoned up and executive voice is a “safe” bet, but it’s exhausting and difficult to connect with your audience. Challenge the temptation to use only pre-approved web copy, and provoke action from your audience. You’ve read it over and over again, but social media enables your company be a group of humans… So be human and hold a conversation.

    When you take risks and talk in a personable manner, you’ll see your social media engagement increase in quantity and quality. Step 1 is crucial to finding your medium between professional and relatable, so go back to it if needed and give yourself some breathing room.


    You can’t be 100% disinterested in everyone else at the party because you have an agenda. Consider what your audience wants and provide it. Typically, we break down our posts between the following categories:

    The category breakdown changes depending on the client and the social media platform, but as you create your content calendar and consider your daily interactions, make sure you have a healthy mix of content categories. If your social properties only publish ‘convert’ style posts, odds are that your audience is not very engaged.

    These 3 simple steps should get you moving in developing your brand voice. The fourth rule here is: DON’T OVERTHINK IT. You can always make adjustments, and odds are that you don’t have extra time to burn. If you’re creating valuable content for social media marketing and you understand the value blogging adds to your social efforts, a strong voice can be the missing piece to a strong content strategy.

    Let us know if you want to talk more about developing your voice or if you have any questions for us to address in our blog. And of course, hire-us if you want it to really happen.