Storytelling In Business: Video Panel with Tamsen Webster, Felicia Slattery and Kathy Klotz-Guest

Panel interview with Tamsen Webster, Felicia Slattery and Kathy Klotz-Guest.

Some of the questions and topics covered:

  • Why do humans love and need stories?
  • What do we mean by story in business?
  • What’s missing from non-story marketing/advertising?
  • Which elements of story are we talking about? Hero? Character arc? Conflict? Good guys and bad guys?
  • How do you start creating a story for a business?
  • How does a solopreneur create their story?
  • Storytelling on Kickstarter; storytelling for entrepreneurs trying to get funding (silicon valley)
  • What are some examples of storytelling in business?
  • What mistakes do people make trying to tell story in business?

Tamsen Webster is the Executive Producer of TEDxCambridge and both the CMO and the SVP for Executive Communications and Coaching at Oratium. Part “idea whisperer,” part brand strategist, and part presentation coach, Tamsen is a mapmaker for messages. She helps people and organizations craft the conversations that turn ideas into action.

Kathy Klotz-Guest MA, MBA, is a marketing storyteller, speaker, and comic improviser. Founder of Keeping it Human, Inc., Kathy’s mission is to help clients turn marketing-speak into compelling marketing stories that customers act on. She has 20 years’ experience in marketing, stage comedy and writing, and all of her teeth.

Communication expert and #1 Amazon best-selling author of “Kill the Elevator Speech,” Felicia Slattery is the creator of the Signature Speech™ system and co-creator of Signature Speech & Webinar Wizard. Her clients include experts, entrepreneurs, CEOs and celebrities to help them deliver speeches and communicate like a pro to get amazing results.

LinkedIn Marketing with Viveka Von Rosen

Viveka took time out from living in the Matrix to speak to me about LinkedIn. It was fun and we talked about some super cool tips for LinkedIn marketing.

Viveka is the author of best-selling: LinkedIn Marketing: An Hour a Day & contributing author (expert) to The Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to LinkedIn. She helps entrepreneurs, corporations and small business owners use social media for better business and personal branding & more effective conversations with their prospects.

She has been honored in these ways…

  • Forbes Top 20 Women in Social Media (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014)
  • Forbes Top 50 Most Influential People in Social Media (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014)
  • One of LinkedIn’s top 25 Social Media Influencers
  • CEOToday’s Top 25 Women in Social Media
  • Over 19K Endorsements on LinkedIn

We talked about:

  • A powerful LinkedIn data export tool you may not know about
  • Viveka most and least favorite things about LinkedIn
  • 8 quantitative metrics you should be using for LinkedIn marketing
  • How to get more people to see your LinkedIn published posts
  • The best way to get new business on LinkedIn
  •  Mistakes job seekers make on LinkedIn

Also, Viveka does a #LINKEDINCHAT on Twitter (Tuesdays at 8 PM ET). Don’t miss it!

35 Facebook Profit Tips UPDATED for 2018

REVIEWED & UPDATED January 8th, 2018:

This post was originally written in June 2015. And some of these tips have been true since I started teaching Facebook marketing in 2011. I wrote this list a few months back for a keynote talk and have kept them up to date.

The tips are divided into 3 groups

  • Overall Facebook Marketing
  • Facebook Posting
  • Facebook Advertising

Note that Facebook marketing is a stepwise, funneled process- so, though not every tip is focused on the last step of the funnel, each tip is trying to increase your results down the funnel.

16 Tips That Apply to All of Facebook Marketing

1. Check out Facebook Audience Insights for your type of customer. This tool is located in the Ad Manager. Learn who your fans, prospects and customers really are. I’ll bet at least one thing surprises you. If you don’t have enough fans to see other likes, choose your biggest competitor, or an interest in your niche instead.

2. Don’t bring up a bad thing unless your offering fixes THAT problem. Or unless your specific audience likes warnings (e.g. bad weather) or being negative. In which case, your bad posts will get a LOT of likes. If they don’t, you don’t have that kind of audience. However, empathizing with your customer can be really powerful. Some of our most powerful case studies come from this.

3. Use happy positive faces that are close-up enough for us to read their expressions. 🙂

4. Avoid bland stock photography. Even if you have to take your own photos, find something authentic. If you do use shutterstock, find something exceptional.

5. Animals work. Even people who hate kids love animals. Yes, you can definitely make an animal relevant to your brand and yes people will love it. Yes, even in B2B. They’re still human beings. Open your mind and try it.

6. Cute works. Kids, pandas, Ann Handley, etc.

7. Dogs always win. Pugs and labs are some of people’s favorites. This is the cutest dog on the planet.

8. Try something WEIRD. At the very least you’ll STAND out. Like that joke about my Grandma. You haven’t heard that? You need to watch this video.

9. Write content about mistakes people make in your niche- if you want to boost conversions.

10. Be brief, simple and clear. Try Hemingwayapp.

11. Test everything. Test posts, ads, images, cover photos and landing pages. I even split-test my blog post titles.

12. Capitalize on the big winner. Do more of what works and less of what doesn’t. Learn from what did and didn’t work, and come up with new ideas that are more like what worked and less like what didn’t.

13. Learn from what your customers like. What they like is in Audience Insights and how they respond to your posts and ads.

14. Keep testing new ideas. Don’t give up. Don’t settle for what’s the best right now. Watch this video: The More You Test The More Likely You Win

15. Shorten your funnel. Try to take out a step or two. Make it easier for your customers. It’ll boost your conversions and profits.

16. Think about whether your customers public and private faces are different. Serve the public one with public posts. Try segmented ads, private videos and segmented email lists for the private ones.

8 Facebook Posting Tips

17. Test multiple ways to say the same thing. Try more than one way to express it. Use science to test diverse language.

18. Include links in posts to get website traffic. (But when it comes to ads, this is not the most affordable way to get website traffic- read this).

19. Include a call to action to get them to do something. Like, “Hey, subscribe to my podcast, it’ll make you a better marketer, better business person, and you’ll smell better too!”

20. Track which Facebook posts work and don’t work. Figure out why you think they work or don’t. Develop your theories and test them with your next set of posts. This is one reason not to create a whole month of FB posts at one time. First, it doesn’t give you time to learn from the current month before scheduling new posts, and second you’ll get smarter every week, but your posts will be up to 4 weeks dumber than you are now.

21. Create coaching and cheerleading posts. Motivate people, and echo their values, beliefs and likes.

22. Find famous and motivational quotes.

23. Use universally revered people for images and quotes. Einstein and Maya Angelou are good. Thomas Edison is not- he’s actually controversial!

24. Follow the 6 do’s and 4 dont’s from my Contagious Content ebook.

9 Facebook Advertising Tips

25. Always choose website conversion ads if you can (rather than just clicks to website), and use a conversion pixel. Even if you aren’t going for leads or sales, try putting the conversion code on a deeper valuable page your best visitors would check out.

26. Modify your targeting with behaviors like people who use Facebook payments (tells you with more certainty they have money to spend and/or might be a good ecommerce prospect) or lines of credit or other financial info.

27. Test granular creative to granular targets. Did you find 3-4 main demographic personas from Audience Insights? Are you testing personalized advertising to these personas?

28. Try widening your targeting and making your copy more specific. You can “target” by using the ad text to tell them who should click and who shouldn’t.

29. Test retargeting, custom audiences and lookalike audiences. Sometimes they work. Sometimes they don’t. But they must be tested.

30. Test using the brand name in headlines vs. not. You could also call them out by job title or interest.

31. Test superlatives. Are you or your product the most/best/cheapest/biggest/etc?

32. Test images featuring the product vs. not. You could also show a representation of their dream aspiration, or their current nightmare.

33. Show a preview of a lead magnet- or use an image in the ad that’s also on the landing page. Then they’ll know they’re in the right place when they land.

34. You can do lead gen ads now in two ways- via website conversion ads, or the new “lead ads.” The latter have a few weaknesses right now. #1, they have been more expensive in our tests. #2 You have to remember to log in and download the emails regularly from Facebook, then manually email people. It’s easier to use LeadPages or ClickFunnels tied to Aweber or MailChimp set up with automatic welcome messages or an autoresponder series. I suppose you could weekly download them, upload those to a system like GetResponse that lets you upload emails, have an autoresponder there, but after a week they’re cold. You’d need to download and upload the emails daily. Some companies are working on a solution to this, but right now it’s a mess. We still recommend website conversion ads combined with a landing page split-testing solution like LeadPages, ClickFunnels, Unbounce, etc.

35. One of the biggest problems we see with clients are when they create their own landing page or lead gen process. Custom programming can create problems, inflexibility, or interfere with tracking. If your website can’t split-test, you should use an industry-standard landing page solution like LeadPages, ClickFunnels or Unbounce. They can be customized to fit your brand and often can be made to look like they’re hosted on your main website or a similar one. Branding can be fixed. A lack of split-testing or the inability to track conversions cannot be fixed as easily.

That’s it- start with a few, and add some more of these tips to your practices every week!

How To Get More Registered Website Users

We have a client who offers free press kits for musicians, along with paid promotional services. Within a few weeks we were getting them users with Facebook ads for as low as $3.25 apiece. With more testing, I hope to improve that to $1.50 or lower.

He asked me:

Eventually, I’d like to breach the double and then triple digit thousand of users. How can we ramp up our ad usage in order to do that after we test? Is it just a matter of adding more $ to the ad spend or are there other factors involved or ways we can do this?

Yes, here are some options, which can be done in combination:

  1. Spend more per day on ads.
  2. Lower the ad cost per new user (to make ad spend go further).
  3. Build things into the website to make social sharing easier. e.g.
    1. and
    2. Facebook sharing button.
  4. Incentivize social sharing. What if they received a discount on their monthly subscription, or a free new feature in their free account, in exchange for sharing the site on Facebook?
  5. Email sharing: Do #4 and #5 for emailing their musician friends.

Immediately, I thought- well this needs to be a blog post! 🙂

8 Social Marketing Strategies You Shouldn’t Waste Your Time On

LAST UPDATED 3/28/2017: Biggest changes since last year are that I’m now enjoying Instagram, we do ads on Instagram for clients, and we are testing Pinterest ads.

Getting the best possible marketing results is not only about doing the most effective things.

It’s also about not wasting time on the least effective things.

You can’t get great digital marketing results if you’re always try to do EVERYTHING.
To be effective in digital marketing you have to BE PICKY about which things you do.

Digital marketing and social media is full of blog posts like…

  • “52 More Ways To Market On Pinterest!”
  • “37 New Social Marketing Tools!”
  • “10 Reasons Snapchat Is Awesome!”

What would happen if you did all the things that all these posts recommended? You’d be stretched thin on a mix of things. Some would work, some wouldn’t.

As a result, your overall marketing results would be mediocre.

Maybe one of them worked for somebody- but is it transferable to most companies? Will it work if it’s a corporate, not a person-to-person strategy? Is it scalable?

Yes, I get sucked into those blog posts just like you do. Yes, I have FEAR OF MISSING OUT, too. But I’ve read enough blog posts that…

  • Don’t deliver on the promise of their headline. “Wow, these ideas are pretty lame.”
  • Promise great results but when you implement their suggestion, you find the real results don’t measure up to their claims. “They were lying… or they didn’t really test this… or they didn’t give away their secret.”

Ironic: I tried, “The 17 Coolest Chrome Productivity Plugins” and found only one plugin was worth it. The other 16 decreased my productivity while I was trying them out. Some secretly required me to pay a monthly fee after I installed them.

What just happened?

Somebody had to write a list-post to try to get more traffic to their blog, and they wasted my time. Irresponsible. You’re supposed to help me and save me time with your content. Not used up my time and attention in blind pursuit of “time on site” and pageviews.

Bad blog post writers should be blindfolded, given a cigarette and shot.

Too far?

Sorry, it’s frustrating. I have limited time on Earth here, buddy.

The social marketer must protect their time. There are dozens of things we COULD do, but only a few things we SHOULD do. [click to tweet]

I’m ruthless in my exclusion of strategies tactics that I don’t judge to be worth my time.

Time is our most precious commodity. You can’t get more of it.

Yes, there are exceptions to my list below. Any of the tactics below might be important because of your niche or goal. And I’m also always open to being wrong on these. I bet I’ll hear something at Social Media Marketing World this year that makes me look at one of these tactics again.

But for the most part, it would be worth your while to consider avoiding some of the below.

8 Social Media Strategies I Don’t Waste Time With

I rarely do LinkedIn ads. They are not prominent enough for people to see and click. I can’t waste time on ads that no one will click. My goal is to get leads and sales.

If I can’t even get clicks… well, LinkedIn, let me know when your ads graduate from elementary school. We sometimes manage LinkedIn Ad campaigns for companies that are already using them. But I’ve yet to be surprised by an effective one.

(They are a good way to jumpstart a new LinkedIn Group, though. And Groups are one of the most effective marketing activities on LinkedIn.)

I rarely do Twitter ads. They have shown promise as they’ve developed. But Google and Facebook ads are so much more effective. What do Twitter ads add to what I get from Facebook ads? I’ve tested Twitter ads occasionally, particularly when people start to buzz about something like Twitter lead cards. But they do not perform as well as Facebook ads.

I might get better results if I invested more time and testing, but I don’t have that time right now. This is something I can afford to procrastinate, since Twitter has 1/5th of the users that Facebook does.

And, you know, there might be a reason why conferences can’t find any Twitter ad experts… that reason would be: it’s not worth your time because you can get so much more out of Facebook and Google.

I mostly ignore social networks that don’t have an ad platform. If you don’t have ads, I can’t scale what works on demand. I don’t have enough time to do everything by clever labor. Yes we sometimes fail, but I can fail and succeed on a grander scale.

Social networks with ads can become sales machines.

Without ads, ugh. That means:

I do Snapchat but only for fun and I actually save my snaps to my iPhone then post them on Instagram!

I don’t spend much time on LinkedIn Company Pages. If less than 1% of people go back to actual Facebook business pages, why would we think it would be any different with the LI Company Page? An exception would be the Human Resources department of a huge company- the company page has to look good and may be quite valuable for them in terms of new hires.

I don’t go out of my way to post to the LinkedIn (“home”) stream. I’m not sure people are really looking at their LinkedIn content streams. Most of your LinkedIn posts won’t be seen by most of your connections.

I do use Buffer and include LinkedIn, so my content does get posted there. But it doesn’t cost me any extra time or effort.

I don’t create Twitter Lists. I find that my actual networking is more effective on LinkedIn and Facebook. I confess, I use Twitter to broadcast blog posts. It’s not very 2.0 of me, is it? But it works.

But I would recommend Twitter Lists to heavy online networkers or salespeople. But people have begun to complain that people don’t engage on Twitter anymore. They certainly were most engaged up until 2010, and then it began to drop. Twitter has been almost completely marginalized by Facebook and has slowly added more and more Facebook-like features in a – perhaps unintentional – admission that their platform isn’t as successful as Facebook.

I don’t add apps to Facebook pages, because no one goes to FB pages. I have to advertise to get them to the app? Then why wouldn’t I just send them to a squeeze page (which I can split-test for optimal conversion rates) to obtain their email, instead? I have to pay for visibility to both fans and non-fans, so why would I advertise to just fans.

Emails are more valuable than fans.

I don’t spend time recklessly on new social networks like Ello. Remember Ello? It was supposed to kill Facebook. Scores of social media gurus (of which there are about 12 million) spent hours posting and buzzing about the promise of Ello. “More transparent than Facebook!”

Checking back in on the Ello buzz a month or two later, no one was using it. Surprise: it wasn’t sticky.

Flash in the pan.

Waste of time.

Shiny object.

Let other people waste their time on new social networks while you use the proven ones to get results. What if that new social network becomes powerful enough to rival Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn a year from now? Ok, jump on it then. You will be able read how-to blog posts by people who spent their time figuring out how to use it, and you’ll suddenly be as good at it as they are. That will save you a ton of time and money. In the meantime you can use the most effective networks. Stick with best practices as far as platforms and strategies go, and innovate with your content and tactics.

I recommend not early-adopting but reasonably early adoption. Wait until there is a significant amount of your target market using it. And there’s an ad platform.

I don’t use SlideShare. I used to, but I noticed no matter how many views I got, it didn’t turn into hardly any website visits for me. Good for slideshare, not good for me. I asked a peer who was using their lead gen offering and he said it didn’t work well. Ok.

Plus, as a paid speaker, do I really want to make it easier for the other 12 million social media experts to put my slides in their presentations? Nope.

I don’t try to motivate or manipulate influencers. Still waiting on any proof that it does more than raise awareness. There are easier more affordable ways to get awareness like Facebook ads. Big-time (slappa da bass mon) influencers are hard to influence. And maybe disgustingly egotistical.

Yes, I have tons of influencer friends. And yes, networking is super valuable. But should the average company try to coral a stable of influencers and get them to influence on their behalf? I haven’t seen case studies to convince me it does more than raise awareness- which you can do much more affordably with TV or Facebook ads.

I’m sure there are more time wasters I’ve forgotten about! Thank goodness. They aren’t cluttering my brain. I can focus.

This month, try cutting out some of the less effective things you do. It’ll increase your results and profits.

The Ultimate Guide to Social Media for Meeting Planners

Do you work on meetings, conferences, conventions, trade shows and exhibitions? You could dramatically improve your event results and exceed your event goals by leveraging more effective social media strategies. If you want bigger results at your events, follow these tips!

In this post I’ll tell you how to use social media to:

  1. Get more people to register for your event
  2. Create more value for your sponsors and sell more sponsorship opportunities
  3. Boost attendance at sessions and mixers
  4. Get attendees more engaged during the event
  5. Get attendees to give you positive feedback you can use to tell a successful event story

Note that I’ve recommended ways for you to increase buzz with social media advertising. The fact is that unpaid social media reach can be limited. If you really want to be sure people see you in social media, the best way to do that is to advertise.

It doesn’t have to be expensive. And it’s 10x more effective than posting and tweeting without ads. You don’t need a huge social ad budget to make a big difference. Even if you only had only $500 to spend on social ads, you’d get at least 100,000 more views of your Facebook posts and tweets. And chances are you’re going to make your money back in registrations.

And you’ll see below that there are ways to get sponsors to pay for some of the social advertising. It’s a win-win when you team up on this.

Also, don’t just post and tweet to your event attendees. Email them during the event, too. One or two emails a day isn’t too much. Still, make sure they have an option at the bottom of each email to opt out of these emails.

Oh, by the way, here’s my speaking video, because you should hire me to keynote your event!

…but back to the article… 🙂

1. How to Boost Event Registrations

Identify influencers and engage them in the process.

  • Who in your industry has a lot of social media followers? Who has the most Klout?
  • How influential are your speakers?
  • Are your speakers’ followers also your potential customers? Or not?

The answers to these questions may or may not affect how you select your speakers. Keep in mind that 100,000 followers may not be a big deal if that speaker’s followers are not your customers. Know that some people buy fake followers and Klout can be fooled.

Look for 5 or 6 different things that tell you the person really is an influencer. These include things like:

  • Total followers on Twitter and fans or followers on Facebook
  • Number of LinkedIn contacts
  • Published books in the last 2-3 years
  • Columns on popular websites like Inc, Forbes and Mashable
  • Columns on websites and in magazines in your industry
  • TV appearances in the last 2-3 years
  • Number of interviews they’ve done with media (Google their name + interview)
  • YouTube videos with thousands of views

You need to create an event hashtag early in the process. Twitter is the real-time social media platform of choice, and hashtags are required to organize all the event tweets, to display them in a stream, and to count the impact of those tweets after the event.

  • Keep your hashtag short… don’t try to put more than three words in it.
  • For the love of God, make sure it doesn’t also spell something unfortunate. For example, #SpeedOfArt also spells “Speedo Fart.” If you don’t tend to see those things, run your hashtag ideas past someone who does.
  • Capital letters don’t matter. I recommend you don’t use any. People will waste time on their mobile phone trying to get it right. Then they won’t be paying attention to the event.
  • Make sure no one else is using your hashtag idea. Search Twitter and to see if it’s in use.
  • If you do this event every year, put the year’s last two numbers at the end, e.g. #consumerbuzz15
  • Your hashtag is as important as the event name itself. Make sure it’s everywhere:
    • On the front and back of your event booklet
    • On attendee name tags
    • On pre-session slides,
    • At the bottom of every slide in your slide template

You can get great video testimonials from attendees for this year even if you didn’t collect them last year.

  • Do a Google live “Hangout on Air” with previous attendees who loved the event- you can have 5 or 10 show up at once if they’re willing to give you 30 minutes. You don’t have to invite an audience, and chances are almost 100% that no one will see it while you’re recording.
  • Give each attendee 30-60 seconds to talk about the positives of the event. How did it benefit them? What did they love about it? Why would they go again?
  • Keep it fast and positive.
  • Google hangouts get recorded to your YouTube channel right away. But you can make it unlisted if you want. You can download it with, edit it and re-upload the final version. True story: I only use the Windows MovieMaker app for my videos, and it’s fine.
  • Your event needs a cool video intro- you can make some for free or cheap here with Flixpress.

Very important: tell them to use direct internet connection not wifi, and make sure they are dressed well and lit well.

Get the speakers to hype up potential attendees! Do a similar quick video hangout with those who will speak at the event, especially keynoters. Have them give a quick preview of their talk. Tell them to use 3 minutes max. Ask them to focus on the benefits of their talk to the audience: what will it empower attendees to do?

Excited potential attendees with a contest! You can boost your live event attendance dramatically with this Facebook contest technique. Create a post that offers two free tickets to the event, and ask them to like the post and tag the person they’d give the other ticket to if they won.

WIN ‪#‎FREETICKETS‬! We’re giving away 2 FREE TICKETS to the Consumer Buzz 2016 Conference in Las Vegas from November 11-15th, 2016. Come learn and grow with us! Here’s how to enter:
1. LIKE this post and
2. COMMENT with the name of the friend or peer you’d bring if you won
(Facebook TAG them- to do that, type the @ symbol, then their name, and when their name comes up in the drop down list, click on it!)
You need to do BOTH things in that order to be eligible. The ‪#‎winner‬ will be randomly selected on October 2nd at 6pm!

Also, SHARE and let everybody know!
* This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by or associated with Facebook.

You can easily get hundreds of responses to a post like this. The tagging pulls in more people. The contest gets people excited about going. It gets them to visualize going. If they don’t win, they feel like they wanted to go. That makes them more likely to buy.

Don’t forget to make the event sound attractive in your contest post:

  • Why should they come?
  • What will they get out of it?
  • How will it improve their life or business after the event?

Then you must promote your contest post with Facebook ads to accelerate the process.

  • Do it! Going without ads isn’t a viable option anymore. Facebook posts without ads only reach 10% or less of your fans. They’re just not effective enough.
  • Use Ad Manager. Don’t use the “boost” option, because it’s not powerful enough. Learn to use ad manager. And no matter what you hear elsewhere, you don’t have to use Power Editor for 99% of Facebook advertising.
  • Target. Target your fans, your email lists and other things like job titles.
  • Test. Create separate ads for each targeting option. You need to create at least 3-5 ads for each thing you promote, just because you never know which targeting will work best.
  • It’s worth it. It may cost you $50 to advertise this post, but you’ll get at least 100 people thinking seriously about how much they want to attend. You will reach thousands- maybe 10’s or 100’s of thousands, depending on how you target and how much you spend.

IMPORTANT: While the contest is ongoing, those people won’t buy because they’re waiting to see if they won. Make sure to end the contest at least a month or more before the event so that you’re not freaking out about attendance too close to event time. And don’t make people think you might do another contest later. If they still think they might win it free, they won’t buy.

When the contest is over, comment at the bottom of the post something like this. Facebook will notify all the entrants that you’ve commented:

We have a winner!  [winner’s name] contact us at [email] by 7pm on Oct 5th if you want your two free tickets! If you didn’t win, we’d still love to have you at the event! Come on out to the biggest consumer marketing conference in the world and learn how to improve your B2C business in every way! You can buy tickets here: [link] 

That message is the one that tells people, “Ok, you didn’t win. So buy a ticket!”

And THAT is a Facebook contest strategy that reliably boosts event attendance. 🙂

If your organization doesn’t already have an email list of more than 1,000 people, you need to start doing lead gen to grow your email list. You want to do this at least 6 months before your event, so you have time to email them several times about the event. We recommend:

  • Use squeeze pages: They’re called squeeze pages because they have few options and often little information. You should only write what’s needed to tease an email out of them. The more options they have and the more time it takes to understand your squeeze page, the lower your conversion rate will be, and the higher your lead gen costs will be. By making the page simple and clear, you lower your lead gen costs. These pages can be created easily with services like leadpages, clickfunnels or
  • Use conversion optimization- you should be testing at least 2 or 3 versions of your squeeze page. You often find that one page is 3-5x more effective than another. This will cut your lead gen costs by at least half.
  • Offer something free like an ebook, webinar, member poll research report, or instructional video series. You can use an influential thought leader to help you create that content. If that expert is going to speak at your event, even better! Most thought leaders will do content like this for anywhere from $1,000 – 15,000, depending on the content type and how in-demand they are.
  • Get traffic to your squeeze pages with Google, Facebook and Twitter ads for this:
    • Google is good for people who are already looking for events or organizations like yours.
    • Facebook ads can reach your ideal prospect who isn’t looking yet and get them involved quicker.
    • Similarly, Twitter ads help you reach the followers of your industry’s big influencers.

Email marketing is at least as important as social media. Do both!

2. How to Create More Value for Your Sponsors

The tweets, retweets, favorites, comments and shares will create more buzz and exposure for the event and the sponsors. With those numbers, you can tell sponsors a story like this one:

Our 700 event attendees tweeted 1,284 times during the event, for a total reach of 435,395 people. On our Facebook page, 3,347 people liked, commented on and shared event posts, for a total reach of 836,923 people.

That increases the value for sponsors. Exposure like that makes them feel more satisfied about having participated. And it makes them more likely to continue next year. It might attract new sponsors. It might allow you to raise the cost of your sponsorships.

Another smart thing to do is include in your sponsorship packages options like these:

  • Sponsor a session-specific prize worth $25-50.
  • Sponsor a content track with a sub-hashtag; for example if your event is #customerbuzz15, you might have a special HR track hashtag called #customerbuzz15-hr [note that the subtag includes the original tag so it’s still counted in hashtag searches]
  • Sponsor a Facebook post co-written by your organization and the sponsor that will be targeted to attendees during the event. Perhaps your sponsor wants to motivate more attendees to come to their booth or to a mixer they’re sponsoring, and you can create a Facebook post that will tell them why they need to come. Then you advertise that post to fans of your Facebook page, fans of their page, and both of your email lists (subtargeted to people who are presently in the city of your event).

Any sponsorship opportunity that leverages advertising will boost social media visibility. And results like that make it easier to sell sponsorships.

These options give your sponsors the opportunity to get more out of the event, and help you fund the prizes and advertising that will boost the buzz around your event.

3. How to Boost Meeting Session Attendance

Once people are at your event, how do you get them to come to specific sessions, keynotes or mixers? You can

  • Do another Facebook contest like the preceding. Announce via social media that they could win something at a specific session.
  • Post and tweet the speaker videos you got ahead of time. Tell them where and when that session is.
  • Ask your speakers and panelists to post and tweet about the session. They can do it several times:
    • The morning of
    • An hour before
    • 5 or 10 minutes before the session.
    • Make sure they always use the hashtag.

And if all else fails, candy is pretty irresistible. Post something like “A few lucky attendees of the 2pm Leadership session will find candy on their seats! Get them before someone else does!” with a picture of candy on a seat.

4. How to Create Engagement from Attendees

The way you start the event and sessions has a big effect on how attendees behave during them. What should they be thinking about? What do you want them to do? You get to choose some of this. But you have to tell them what it is.

In the intro to every session, encourage attendees attendees to tweet during and use the hashtag. This can be done with pre-session slides and by the panel or session leader. It can be as quick and simple as this:

Feel free to tweet your thoughts or quotes from speakers during this session and please use the hashtag #consumerbuzz15.

Another way to say it is:

We consider social media activity about the session content to be a great form of participation. Interact with us about this talk on Twitter and Facebook and use the hashtag #consumerbuzz15!

Put hashtag activity screens around the conference area. You can show this in session rooms between sessions, too. Seeing all those tweets makes people want to show up in the stream. That increases the number of tweets people do. Make sure people know they have to use the hashtag to show up in that stream. It’s ok if attendees use it to post links to their blog posts or social info- it’s all good engagement. And people have to get something out of interacting. Don’t deny them that, or you’ll discourage participation.

Why do people tweet or Facebook post? And why do they share or retweet? There are several key reasons, proven by research. Make use of these in thinking about what you’ll post or tweet:

  • Giving- something free
  • Teaching- how to information
  • Inspiring- great quotes from speakers
  • Motivating- positive thoughts or quotes
  • Funny- something funny that was said, or a cartoon that’s relevant to a session topic
  • Warnings- What pitfalls do people need to avoid? What mistakes do they make?

Speaker tweets: You might not require speakers to mention their twitter handle, but you can strongly recommend it, and remind them.

Having their twitter handle on every slide of a presentation is a smart way to go. You can issue a powerpoint template customized for your event that includes the hashtag on every slide.

Encourage speakers to monitor what attendees have tweeted to them and respond within an hour or two, max.

If you have a session that has Q&A, the panelist can ask for questions via Twitter. This is a great way to get questions submitted ahead of time AND control which ones get asked. If this isn’t your first rodeo, you know that there are bad questions, the worst of which can turn the room’s mood instantly negative.

The session leader can:

  1. Introduce the session and ask that they tweet questions during the session.
  2. Choose the best questions that come in during the talk.
  3. Ask the speaker those questions without having to give a mic to the audience.

Walk around your event with a video camera and ask attendees if they’d like to get into the social media posts for the event. Ask them to speak for 30 second about one thing:

  • What they’ve enjoyed most at the conference
  • Anything inspiring,
  • Something they learned

Walk around for 40 minutes, then review them, upload the best ones and post them immediately. Do this at least a couple times per day.

You may need at least one person dedicated to monitoring and replying to social feedback and questions. If that person has other event responsibilities, make sure they check the social activity at least once per the morning, afternoon and evening. Every hour is even better.

5. Create Positive Feedback From Attendees

Similar to the last one, walk around with a video camera. Find a happy attendee. Ask if they’d like to tell future attendees why they love the event. Give them 30-60 seconds. These videos will help you sell more registrations next year!

That’s it! As you can see, these ideas ask for more from you. You want more from speakers, more from the audience and more from the sponsors. That’s how you create an event people will never forget. And that’s how you succeed year after year.

The social advertising part can be difficult. There’s a big learning curve and most beginners make the same mistakes. For more info on how to do them, contact us!

Why Women Are Critical To Every Social Media Campaign

It was interesting that even in the Facebook discussion of the Superbowl, the top three gender-age demographics were female.

The Facebook campaign with the least commenting we’ve ever seen was for an action-sports-oriented page with 95% male fans. We had focused on building a completely male fanbase, since the client’s experience was that few women purchased their product. But we found out that the result was no discussion at all!

Researchers studied the age-old stereotype that women really are more talkative than men.

Women converse more than men? It depends. Some guys are more chatty. Some guys act like that cliched “strong, silent type.”

Even when you’re marketing in a male-dominated niche, we recommend you also advertise to women. They can be like the “glue players” that hold the team together. Most of us would rather interact in a mixed group, anyway. Some guys don’t want to talk only to guys.

Much as marketers look at 25-55 year old women as the household and healthcare decision-makers, we may want to look at them as central to social media conversations.

There may be a few exceptions- do you want women in your “low T” discussion? Well, maybe you don’t want to discuss that publicly anyway!

And sure, conversation isn’t always critical to social media profits. Too much talk may even get in the way at times. But if it’s important to you, don’t exclude women.

Why Was This FB Post Shared 14,539 Times?

Facebook old-timers [I’m looking at you Dennis, Barry and Jeremy!] remember when we got Facebook page likes for less than one cent apiece. Of course, that was before we all got cynical about the value of Facebook fans. Are they worthless? That’s another debate for another day- and my short opinion on that is that they are still valuable, but shouldn’t be your #1 priority.

Don’t worry- the post we’re going to talk about is below, but first…

See that chart of ads below? Cost per post engagement ZERO. That’s not an error. It says zero because it’s less than $0.01.


Now, I’m pretty excited about the Facebook posts I have that are getting three or four interactions per penny. And no, you don’t have to target a third world country to make that to happen. Not even the whole U.S. I’ve seen similar results targeting one U.S. city, and even one interest within one U.S. city.

The real upshot is that you absolutely must care what people like… you have to be ruthless in testing your Facebook posts. If you don’t know what that means, you probably aren’t even using the right paradigm for your digital marketing. Some people are just throwing darts randomly and not even looking where they hit.

When you find a highly engaging post- that means somewhere between 6-12% of people like it… now hold on a second… you are keeping track of what percentage of post viewers are liking your posts, aren’t you? Those who aren’t are still in Facebook posting kindergarten. Here’s another shocker- Facebook isn’t calculating that “engagement rate” percentage for you. You have to do it. It’s interactions divided by reach. The simple shorthand is likes divided by reach. Do it!

Anyway, when you find a highly engaging post, and it stays highly engaging when tens of thousand of people see it, then what? You’ve hacked your audience’s brain. You’ve plugged into pure affinity. You’ve found their limbic system buttons and you’re pressing them. 

Sounds pretty cool, right?

Here’s an example of such a post…


First, everybody I show that post to laughs. Then I worry they’ve missed the point. It’s like when I’m trying to learn screenwriting by watching a great movie, and I forget and just experience the movie. That definitely was a good movie, because it made me forget to learn anything! The post above might make you forget to learn about Facebook marketing. So, keep your brain engaged.

In 65 days, I reached over 424,832 people and got 50,807 interactions for about $225, an average of $0.004 per interaction.

Do you think shares are awesome? Me too. And they only cost an average of 3 cents per share with this promoted post.

Now, my ads and posts aren’t all huge successes. That’s why I say you have to be ruthless about testing. You’re testing in search of the outlier, and that outlier is one post in 50… one ad in 10. Are you creating a lot of them? Are you testing enough different approaches? Are those tests informed by your understanding of your audience? If you’re not sure, check out Facebookize.

Another tip- I am opposed to creating editorial Facebook post calendars a month or two ahead of time. I think you should create one post per day. Why? Because in my experience, I only have a finite amount of creativity and insight at one time. If I create 30 posts right now, they won’t be as good as the 30 I create if I create one per day. If you’re watching your engagement rate every day from yesterday’s post, you’re smarter halfway through the month than you were at the beginning of them month, because you’re learning every day. Not to mention, you see a lot of things… you watch TV, see tons of social media, have conversations, dream at night, and your subconscious has more stuff to work with. Your day 15 post is smarter (and has a better chance of engaging more people) than the day 15 post by someone who created them all two weeks ago. Especially if they only spent a few hours making them, total. Stop doing Facebook editorial calendars.

The other thing is- those results are engagement only. You might also get a few page likes or website clicks. You can alter this some to get website clicks out of it. I find that they still only go as low as $0.30 or so. But at the same time, you’re getting those same supercheap likes, comments and shares. You have to play with the text and call to action in the post to find the ones that will get website clicks, because often, even when you’re trying, you get a BIG FAT ZERO website clicks.


You have to find a needle in the haystack, and you have to create the haystack. Maybe the needle too. I’m not sure I understand my own metaphor. My point is you have to come up with these amazing post ideas. And write the copy. And do the ad tests of format and targeting.

So the sponsored post above did get clicks too, at $0.29 cost per website click- but also at only $0.007 per engagement. So in one day of just a $2 spend, it got 7 website clicks, 141 likes, and 45 shares… this part, getting the website clicks at the same time, is new for me, so stay tuned for more test results later.

How To Get More Customer Referrals With Facebook

liketagsHere’s a clever way to boost your sales by getting more recommendations to prospects from your current customers…

The research tells us that recommendations from friends are one of the most persuasive sales strategies out there.

Think about it in your own life: are you more likely to check out a new make of car because some Brian Carter dude recommended it, or because your best friend recommended it? Hopefully you answered “my best friend” even though the research tells us that Brian Carter is ridiculously influential 🙂

How To Make Friend Referrals More Effective And Palatable

All you need is:

  • An email list of customers
  • A Facebook Page
  • A Facebook Ad Account

Here’s How You Do it

On Facebook…

  1. Create a post asking people to think about a friend that would benefit from your business, and ask them to tag a friend in the comments.
  2. You can incentivize with a sweepstakes this by saying one recommender + recommendee pair will each win a prize.
  3. Take your customer email list, create a custom audience in Facebook Ads, create a lookalike audience from that, then
  4. Promote that Facebook post to these two audiences (one ad per audience)

Now, you’ve just reached out to your customers and people like them on Facebook with a giveaway that will drive action.

improvpromoI use this technique to promote my local improv comedy group’s performances (Andrea Vahl suggested it when Facebook changed their contest guidelines, I tried it, and it has worked for us a dozen times).

But it doesn’t have to be used for just events.

Speaking of events though, it could be used for paid webinars- what if you offered a $7 webinar and offer free access to five winners?

Adding a giveaway to it makes it less spammy- now people are giving their friends the opportunity to win something for free– and that makes the referrer look good, which is one of the keys to driving viral marketing activity.

Not everyone will refer, so have a backup option. Give the customer two options- if they don’t feel comfortable referring, or can’t think of someone, let them know they can also

  • Recommend you on LinkedIn, if you’re a solo entrepreneur, or
  • Positively rate your business on Yelp or Google Local.

Thar you go.

Now go do it!

67 Reasons Upworthy Is More Viral Than Your Site Will Ever Be

Hey bucko, you need to care why people share stuff online. What they share, they definitely like. What they like, they don’t necessarily share. Find out what about your business is most viral, and you’re building the infrastructure for word of mouth marketing, and thus mega growth. Everyone needs a competitive advantage to survive and thrive- isn’t being more shareable one of the best competitive advantages?

You need to read this deck if you want to suck less at viral marketing. It’s so good I hesitate to share it.

But I know that most people don’t implement what they learn, so you probably won’t beat me today, superman. Did you write 25 headlines today? Me neither but I did write four for this post.