Facebook Etiquette

In this article we’re going to cover some of the basics of Facebook(FB) Etiquette on a business level as well as personal. If you’re anything like me you’re on FB ALL THE TIME! Well part of that is due to my job. I am a Social Media Consultant so that means almost every working hour I have is spent on it. But for the rest of you folks out there, you’re only 2 clicks away from FB. We typically will have it open as another window or tab on our browsers. Then at anytime, you just click on it to see what’s going on.

I’m sure you have it on your Smart Phones too, right? That way you can be connected to the people you love or at least find interesting on a 24/7 basis. Let me guess, when you wake up in the morning, you reach for your smart phone or tablet and check your FB feed and email? I’m guilty of that myself, so don’t feel too bad…”because everyone does it.” Right?
Ok let’s move onto some basic etiquette on FB. Here’s a few that should help you avoid arguments or unfriending (is that even a word?) situations.

*Avoid political or religious posts.

We all know people who post things as their status that is related to some sort of politics and religious stuff. This goes along the same ways towards gun control. Basically you avoid this because when you start posting your view point’s there’s always someone that will challenge that and argue with you. During the Romney and Obama elections, there were so many HEATED arguments on FB on why you should vote for who or which propositions you should vote for. At times it got ugly between my own friends and some even unfriended each other because their views are different from their own. I’m not saying having a different opinion or having a great discussion isn’t healthy, but for the most part, people are not mature enough to do that on FB. So much is lost in text that the tone is lost.

*Emoticons are not guaranteed to work

Do you know what they are? It’s icons that are supposed to mimic your emotions. For example, do you use emoticons at the end of your posts like this to show you’re happy 🙂 or sad :(? What about when you’re joking, I think the proper emoticon is using the colon and the letter P signify that you’re smiling and your tongue is sticking out to show you’re being silly. But the problem with emoticons is the person can’t see your face doing those same actions. So if I were to call someone FART FACE with  that could be taken as 1. Joke or 2. making fun of the person you called a fart face.

Yes there are hundreds of emoticons, even animals have emoticons, but they are still not great at REALLY expressing your facial expressions as if you were talking face to face with the person and that could cause problems in communication in which I’ll touch on the next point.


*The tone of your message may not be taken the way you want

A recent situation I had was with one of former my client’s FB page. A customer commented about his bad experience at one of the retail stores the company owned. I responded to his comment in a joking manner, very sarcastic in tone but he took it as a personal attack on him. That situation I had to immediately apologize to him after reading his rebuttal to my comment. The issue with tone is that sometimes people may not get your humor. Something that you may think is hilarious may not be as funny to another.

*Don’t send important messages through a status update or in a comment

This is one of my pet peeves. Basically what I’m saying is, if it’s important to the person to get you the message. Then pick up the phone! Here’s an example, I saw an argument start on FB and the people involved kept going back and forth on comments. Then they started sending each other private messages to continue their argument. Here’s the thing, if it’s a conflict, just call them. Don’t use PM or status updates to further argue or resolve things.

I recently had a situation where I commented in a joking manner to a serious tone. The person asked if I could keep it serious since this was something he was being sincere about. I said no problem and obliged to his request. Then here’s the best part, he picked up the phone and CALLED ME! Yes, he called me to make sure that I wasn’t offended that he asked me to keep it serious. I told him that I wasn’t and that I really appreciated his heart behind wanting to make sure no bitter root grows between our friendship.

*Posting photos

This one is a double edged sword because not too many people really want to see you having so much fun in Hawaii zip lining while drinking a pina colada while kissing your hot wife. Why? It’s due to the fact that people don’t like show offs. I’m sure there’s a friend that will see your photos from Hawaii who is sitting in his mom’s basement in Dayton, Ohio who is super jealous of your exploits and is probably single or has an ugly girl friend that wishes he could do what you’re doing…but he can’t. Besides, no one really cares about those photos of you looking to the left or right or pictures of your designer purses and shoes that you bought or what you are having for lunch.

The flip sides to this are business fanpages. Fans love to live vicariously through the pages they LIKE. I say post as many photos of your products being used, office shenanigans, customer photos and anything that shows off your product. If you make dog sweaters, then post as many photos of dogs in sweaters, preferably your own brand.

That’s about it, I’m sure there’s so many other things I could touch on, but we’ll leave that for another day.

Should you be doing Content Marketing?

Not sure what that term means?

Content marketing is an umbrella term encompassing all marketing formats that involve the creation and sharing of content in order to attract, acquire and engage clearly defined and understood current and potential consumer bases with the objective of driving profitable customer action. Content marketing subscribes to the notion that delivering information to prospects and customers drives profitable consumer action. Content marketing has benefits in terms of retaining reader attention and improving brand loyalty.

To answer the question above, Yes you should be doing content marketing! Why well for the very same reasons it says in the definition above, but summarized; “get people to like you, your brand, keep them loyal and make money.”

One of the best ways to generate Content Marketing is to create a blog, update it with relevant articles to your audience (customers). For example, if you’re a Mountain Bike Website, then having articles on how to fix bicycles or the latest product reviews would definitely fall under the category of Content Marketing. But if the mountain biking website only posts videos of talking cats, which can be cute, but are not relevant to their audience, then you’ll lose them as readers.

Now the problem with most businesses is that they either don’t know how to write well or they don’t have time. I’ve spoken to 2 owners whom one of them has so many ideas in his head that he’s confident that he could come up with an article a day for his blog, but he’s so busy running his company that he doesn’t have time. Then another owner I spoke with just this week said he wants to get a blog going and start getting some content on his site, but he HATES writing.

One of the services I offer is Content Writing for ANY business. I’ve published over 2000 articles in last few years and I’ve covered things from Real Estate Investing, Bicycles, Retail, Women’s clothing and even Rugs…yes Rugs, like the kind you put in your living room that can cost thousands of dollars. Another thing I need to mention, Content Marketing is really inexpensive to do. If you write the content yourself, then it’s free! If you can’t do it yourself, then I can help you (for a small fee).

Anyhow, I can could literally go on for hours on why and how Content Marketing Works, but I won’t. However, if you’re interested in further discussing it, feel free to contact me via email: RLPolicar@gmail.com

Why helping the needy is good for your brand

Have you ever considered having your company/brand contribute to a non-profit or help out in some sort of charity or noble cause? If you have, ever consider the societal implications it could have on your image?

Before I get started, I want to make it a point that I do not believe that people/companies/brands should only help out the needy in order to bolster their image. But they should do it because they can and that they want to make a difference.

One of the brands I represent is BikeCommuters.com. Recently I spearheaded a new initiative with the website to start helping out the local bicycles who had needs. I contacted one of the site’s advertisers whom they’ve had a long standing relationship with, to see if they’d be interested in helping out with some product donations. We also started helping out with Operation Feed The Homeless, a local non-profit that aides the homeless of Santa Ana, Ca. While they are out there providing food, clothing and other needs, I’ve gone around as a representative of BikeCommuters.com and would hand out bicycle lights and locks to people who I saw needed it.

We didn’t do this to make BikeCommuters.com look good, though it dos help, but because there are good hearted people that run the site as well as the generous donations, they were able to pull this off. In fact they’re going again with more support from another company that wanted to donate their time and products to the cause.

So here’s the thing, when your brand does something good like meeting the needs of the less fortunate or help build a house and etc, your brand will automatically touch a nerve with your audience. Not only does it show that the brand is conscientious of the needs around them, but it helps give the brand a humanistic touch that may never been seen before. When this happens, it tends to build brand loyalty, thus repeat customers.

I don’t know about you, but I’m more willing to shop at an establishment or online retailer who commits to some sort of advocacy or community service. It even helps when I read about their projects on their blogs or on Facebook. If anything at all, look at it as this…It makes for a great marketing opportunity for your brand. You’ll have tons of content for your site, it gets your employees excited and it’s also a great team building exercise.

A Fortune Cookie can Motivate

I had lunch at a local Chinese Restaurant in which I wanted to talk to the owner about my services. At a certain point I thought that I should come back another day since they were busy. But after cracking open my fortune cookie and read it, I walked up to the owner to tell her about my services and not only did she ask me more about it, but we spoke for several minutes and I’ll be doing a follow up to show her examples of my work.
fortune cookie

It’s Cyber Monday, well…are you shopping?

If you’re still not sure what Cyber Monday is, well it’s basically the Monday following Black Friday where online retailers are trying to lure you to their site in hopes you’d spend the same amount of money on their virtual store as you did in a brick and mortar shop just a few days ago. Basically it’s been slated as the “Biggest shopping day of the year, online.”

For some Cyber Monday is the day where they go shopping. I know for myself, I didn’t bother with the crazy lines on Black Friday because I knew that I could easily shop for the same items online and most promos today would include free shipping as a way to entice people to spend money.

As much as I love Cyber Monday for all it’s great deals, you really should do some research on items that you want to buy. A bit of Googling will yield answers on where the best prices are and product reviews. I think it’s important to read up on reviews that consumers post on the items you’re seeking. This gives you an inside view on how the items really works and if the quality sub par.

If you’re set on getting what ever items you want, may I suggest a few sites where you can really save money on. For 2012, Amazon.com is boasting that some of their items will be discounted by as much as 90%. There are other sites like Target.com and Walmart.com that are offering some great deals. One thing cool about Walmart.com is you have your order delivered to a nearby Walmart so it doesn’t arrive at your home where the person you got the gift for see’s it. Oh and that service is free.

Just about anyone that has a website will be offering some sort of Cyber Monday sale today. If you’re into sunglasses, you’ll find deals on it, or what about Jeep accessories or Harley Davidson parts, ya, those deals are out there for Cyber Monday.

Social Media means YOU being more Social

So what do I mean by being “Social?” It’s pretty simple. You have to be your own brand’s best ambassador. I’ll give you an example. Yesterday I was at a store and I noticed that they had a small signed that said, “find us on Facebook.” I immediately asked the clerk who handles their Social Media and she told me that it was a collection of the employees who really didn’t know what they were doing. So I began to tell her about my services and what I can do. From that I got the contact info of the owner of the company.

That interaction was of me being “social.” I gotta be gut level honest with you. I come from an IT background and us IT folks have a reputation to be introverted so being social doesn’t really come easy to me as it does for folks out there. But just being out going isn’t really enough. You also have to be somewhat friendly to the people you deal with, right? Besides, who’s going to want to work with a Social Media guy who’s a jerk or condescending? I know I wouldn’t.

With that in mind let’s list some things down that might help you with your branding/social media efforts when interacting with REAL people.

1. Be friendly.
2. Smile.
3. Ask questions directed towards the person you’re talking to. People love talking about themselves (More on that later).
4. Engage in conversation about their business.
5. Tell them about you and your brand.

I know some of these things are basic human interaction things that we all do on a daily basis, but heck some of us can easily forget. Hopefully this helps!

Why is blogging important to your business?

There’s a few good reasons why. Let’s start off with the most obvious, it gets your message out fast! When I first brought up the idea of blogging to one of my old clients, they really didn’t understand it nor did they think it was beneficial. For one they didn’t understand what it meant. Blogging, Blog or Blogger all stems from the term “Weblog.” But to shorten it, became blog. What it entails is a log of sorts that you fill out much like a diary and the most recent “post” you have sits on top. By the way a “post” is what an article is on a blog.

One of the things I told my old client is this, “Blogging allows you to get information out to your customer base without having to update your website or do any major changes to your existing site.” For the most part you can install WordPress (my preferred blog platform) to an existing website and have it under a sub-directory. For example, one of my current clients now has their blog set up as: blog.piratemfg.com. Others may have it set up as http://www.domainname.com/BLOG. Either way it works.

So now you’re thinking, “Should I be blogging for my business?” The short answer to that is YES. Here’s a why. Let’s say you’re a Personal Trainer who has a successful business. You NEED to be blogging to get more info out to your current customers and potential customers. What kind of information should a personal trainer be blogging about? EVERYTHING! If you’re a personal trainer, you get people asking all the time about the latest supplement, workout equipment and techniques as well as nutrition, right? Why not fill up your blog with useful information that gets people coming back for more?

Now that you have an idea on what kind of things you can post about, how often should you be doing it? My answer to that, as much as possible. Anytime you have a free moment, crank out a post. Why? Because search engines love fresh content. Google, Yahoo, Bing and etc love making new content available to people who use their service. Just think of it this way, let’s say you’re a Butcher at a meat market. Aren’t you more excited to show your customers the freshest cuts to them? Same thing with blogging and search engines. Your article is the meat that the search engines(butcher) wants to show case.

Blogging will also help your site traffic go up. Here’s how, remember the whole thing about search engines? Well what they’re doing is telling searchers that your blog has the keywords (more on that later) that they’re looking for. Then if your keyword is linked to a product or service you’re selling back to your site, then you’ve got direct traffic(more on that later) going to your main site.

I could literally go on for hours why Blogging is awesome, so for now we’ll end it here and I’ll publish a Part 2 on this subject. So stay tuned.

My new logo

Though I’ve been doing Social Media for the last several years, I’ve never actually come out with my own logo. So here’s what I’ve decided on.
Rl policar

The Twinkie Frenzy

If you haven’t heard, the parent company of Twinkies, Hostess, is going bankrupt. With that in mind, Ebay has been a-buzz with people selling boxes of Twinkies marked up. I’ve even seen some listed in Amazon for as much as $89.99!
twinkies on ebay
This whole Twinkie-Frenzy is reminiscent of the 90’s Tickle Me Elmo craze where people were spending as much as $300 for the doll.

The Week Before Black Friday

Have you ever noticed that things slow down about week before Black Friday?

From a consumer stand point it makes sense. You really don’t want to be spending money when we know the holiday shopping season starts next week, right? What about retailers? You know they’re holding out on inventory that is meant for Black Friday. How do I know this? From personal observation, that’s how. I was recently at a local WalMart and Target to get some household goods. I noticed shelves were running a bit thin and less shoppers too.

If you look online any retailer who is planning a Black Friday Sale has already started advertising or emailing out their store fliers. Did you hear that Target and WalMart are both starting their Black Friday Sale on Thanksgiving at 8pm? Well apparently they want to get a jump on their bottom line for the holiday season. Sucks to be the people who work for either company, but great for consumers. Heck I might even brave the crowds in search for a new laptop…or maybe not.

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