Tag Archives: Facebook

How should your BPO be using social media?

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Do you use social media? Most of us do. Do you use it for your outsourcing outfit? Many people do. But, are you using it the right way?

Most companies engage in a lot of self-promotion, boring industry news, and don’t make an effort to constantly maintain their social media profiles.

Get a blog & then promote it on FB, TW, etc.
To do well in social media you need your own content in the form of a blog. You could have a forum if you have some serious industry players who like to interact on your medium as well. Then, you need a way to promote that blog such as a newsletter, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or any of the other mediums. Despite all of the new kids on the block, I have never seen a social media platform perform even 10% as well as Facebook does when it comes to harnessing the power of clicks. Mark Zuckerberg — my hero! Another reason I like Facebook is that Mark Zuckerberg speaks Chinese as a second language and so do I.

Blogging from A to Z
The problem is that blogs don’t just write themselves. You need a constant supply of ideas every month. You should be publishing at least 12 articles a month. But, where will you come up with those ideas and who will do the writing? Next, you should ideally have some nice photos to put in the blog articles. If you write about how great your company is, nobody will be interested. But, if you take industry information, jazz it up and make it interesting, you might get some readers. Roughly 5% of your blog articles should be self-promoting. After you have gained a loyal following, you can try to sell them a little bit. But, honestly, the real selling happens when people are impressed by your level of knowledge and sophistication in your blogging. If you become a source or the source of industry specific information in your specialty — people will flock to you without any attempt to sell them anything. That is the secret. So, get writing my friends!

Facebook, etc.
Once you have some blog articles, the next step is to promote them. You can promote to existing clients via a newsletter. However, you also need to reach new prospects, and social media platforms are a great way to do this. My Notary directory gets tons of traffic from Facebook. I study what works well on Facebook and create more content based on that data. The problem is that it takes years to develop a good Facebook following even with paid advertising. We have been using Facebook since 2009 with amazing results, but it didn’t happen overnight or by accident.

Ideas for writing
You can write about what others in your industry are doing in the form of stories. Stories are fun to read and will gain you followers. You can write how to articles. Nothing is more popular to read than how to. Writing about what goes on in your office will help people get to know you before they ever talk to you. The closer people feel to you, the more likely they will actually use your service one day. Show photos of what you did on Valentine’s day, Diwalli, or Ramaddan, etc.

Is there a faster way?
Succeeding on the internet can be fast if you sell a product. But, competition for products is so bad, that your competition will be equally fast in putting you out of business. Success takes time and a lot of effort. But, it is also fun. So, start using social media for your business today!

Facebook knows you better than your mama. But, how well do you know your customers?

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Facebook knows you better than your mama knows you.
Don’t you be talking about my mama!

But seriously, how well do you know your customers?
Facebook knows who your friends are, where you went to school, who your parents are, what you like to read, your interests, and who your email provider is. Most of my old friends who came back to me found me on Facebook. There is no other way to find people these days now that we are all over the place. Thank God for Facebook. Personally, I feel there should be a national database of people that you can look up based on name, home town, or other things. But, in any case, the important thing Facebook knows is what you like. If a business knows your habits and what you like, they can cater to your needs.

In Facebook’s case, they can offer you friends who have similar likes and interest, articles that will please you, and maybe even products. Big businesses sometimes get it. They understand that knowledge is key. But, small businesses don’t bother understanding their clients. In the old days when people used to know each other, they knew their clients needs from knowing them. But, in this hi-tech age, you don’t ever see anyone. So, you get to know people by studying data. See what they click on, and what they like. You can survey them too, but what they say they like and what they click on may not match up as much as you think.

As a BPO or small business owner, you can keep database records of your client’s habits, wishlists, and other information about them. What information you keep is up to you, and your database will evolve over time. Yes it is expensive to maintain a database and dealing with the programmers is no easy task either. But, without knowing something about your clients and being able to segment them, you will not know how to please them.

SHELLY: Would you like your data entry done within 72 hours like you did last time, or would you prefer the two week economy package.

RAMESH: Oh, you kept records on how I purchased last time. I don’t even remember myself. Wow! You must be a very attentive company.

SHELLY: Well, we try. And next time you come by, did you want two glasses of masala chai with two lumps of sugar, or do you want to try a new energy drink called zap?

RAMESH: You even remember how many lumps of sugar I take? Usually I take one, but your chai was extra robust so I took too. I’ll do chai, but I’ll have a sip or zap.

SHELLY: Do you want a morning appointment like last time?

RAMESH: This time let’s do 3pm as my wife needs me to help her in the morning.

SHELLY: Oh yes, Amrita. Her Master’s degree program ended a week ago. Tell her I give her my congratulations.

RAMESH: I am getting my own Master’s degree just listening to all the things you know about me. Now, what is my online banking password?

SHELLY: Why, did you forget?

RAMESH: No, I’m just testing you.

SHELLY: It is 1811516.

RAMESH: I”m just kidding I don’t use online banking.

SHELLY: I know. I was just pulling your leg.

RAMESH: Ah-ha! Got you. I just had it amputated…. Just kidding.

SHELLY: You are too much. See you at 3pm. Parking is in the rear. We’ll assign you a spot that says, “Parking for Ramesh(es) ONLY”

What is the growth rate of your social media profile?

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Social media is here to stay and is expanding its reach daily. In a few years, marketers may devote double the resources to professional social media accounts. But, what does the future look like for you?

We all spend time working on our social media accounts. Some of us have more followers than others. But, my question is, how fast do your accounts grow?

My Google Plus account only grows when I follow others. I publish popular industry specific content mixed with beautiful pictures and content of more general interest. We get at least fifty interactions per day, but no growth from the content no matter how popular it is. It seems that there are only two ways to grow a Google+ account. You have to have a fan base already that finds you because you have a G+ icon on your main site. Or, you follow lots of people and they follow you back. Even Guy Kawasaki who has over six million followers on G+ has a growth rate of less than 1% per month and he gets his content shared hundreds of times per day!

A Twitter follower is only about 10% as potent for getting clicks as a G+ follower. However, Twitter is an easy medium for growth. Personally, I follow about 2000 new people per week on my main Twitter account and get a few hundred to follow me back. I can get 300 new followers per week without even trying. Additionally, if I publish twenty hot articles about my industry that I found on the web and get shared, I can get a lot more followers on top of that. I don’t have an exact number for that though. My estimate is that I might get 100 new Twitter followers if I get about 45 shares or favorites. Additionally, if I have ongoing discussions with other Twitterers, then Twitter introduces me to more people in their, “you might also like” section. If I used Twitter to the maximum, I could probably get around 800 new followers per week. On other mediums, this would be nearly impossible

Facebook makes it easy to grow your presence with PPC for attracting new followers as well as PPC for sharing your articles. Both types of PPC have worked miracles for me. My facebook is currently growing at about 8% per month posting twice a day and using PPC. In three years, I might go from 9000 followers to 60,000.

Predicting Growth Rates
It is hard to predict growth rates on social media. The speed you are growing at now is not the same as the speed you will be growing at in a few years. You might reach a saturation point in attracting your relevant audience at a particular point, and then experience a slow down in growth. Or, your medium could stop growing which will affect your growth. Additionally, social media mediums could change their algorithm for how helpful they are in promoting your profile, or change their advertising rates or offerings.

How I see my future using G+
However, in my long run, I see getting a lot of clicks from Google+ since I am gaining a lot of followers through a very labor intensive practice of following and unfollowing. However, I don’t see much growth happening after I stop doing my manual promotion. Exponential growth doesn’t seem likely. I hope I’m wrong and that I am given the opportunity to grow into the millions.

Twitter – my future
Twitter makes it hard to get any serious amount of clicks unless you have 50,000+ followers. But, the good news is that in a few years, I see myself having that many followers. Additionally, I follow other large accounts that have grown a lot. One of the social media accounts I follow grew from around 60,000 to 100,000 in the last two years. Additionally, an account of general interest that I follow went from 400,000 to 550,000 in the last several years. These two accounts post regularly and have experienced growth rates of about 25-30% per year which is excellent and gives me hope. At the rate they are going they will be in the millions in a few years.

Facebook in the future
Right now I have 9000 Facebook followers on my Notary Facebook. I have different accounts for the different sites I manage, but the Notary Facebook is the most dynamic since we have such good followers. We’re growing at 8% per month. Since most of our followers are Realtors, and Mortgage Bankers, we might run out of potential followers after we hit 50,000, but it is looking like we’ll get to 50,000 in three years. We’re already getting 3000 or more clicks per month from Facebook, so it will be a waterfall of clicks in three years!

What about your future?
It is hard to predict which social media medium will do best in your future. So compare a few, and then really focus on the one that gives you some serious results. You need to track your analytics yourself because your individual situation si unique and not like mine or anyone elses.

Does being “social” boost your social media?

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For those of you who read my blog regularly, you’ll be acutely aware that I am a student of the mysteries of feng-shui. I think that hidden energies in the environment can boost your business or social media. But, recently, I’ve unveiled some of the secrets of social media.

Some people think that by spending lots of time on Facebook that they’ll have a good social media campaign. Not so. You need to be a student of what people like, what photos do well, and when to share what you share. But, there’s more. Being social can help your social media simply by your consciousness absorbing or creating social energies. This might sound a bit odd at first, but try it.

I spent several hours a week at special spots in Los Angeles where it is more social. There is a coffee house where there is comedy night, and people socialize. My Twitter always does better after an evening there. I recently went to the symphony a few times. That didn’t help my Facebook, but my blog traffic did well as a result. Hanging out next to Warner Brothers helped my Facebook campaign tremendously. So, how does just being at these places help?

You are absorbing energies from people who engage in broadcasting. Facebook is essentially broadcasting information about your company or your personal life. If you want people to read what you published, you need an audience. Who is better at attracting large audiences than Warner Brothers? Nobody — that is why I like to pick up on their energies.

Being social and making friends with new people can also help your social media as the energy of connecting with new people is what Facebook, Twitter and the other platforms are all about. But, if you don’t like social media, try anti-social media!

A call center that helps you with getting more followers on Facebook

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There are call centers that remind you that your medical bills are due. Then, there are technical support and appointment setting call centers. The Philippines seems to dominate the industry, but many other countries like India are in on the game too. But, what about a call centre that helps you with the most pressing frustrations in your life? Let’s think about it. What types of things bother you the most? How to get a date with the guy or girl you like but are afraid to approach and how to get more followers on Facebook.

CLIENT: Hi, this is John — from Albany, NY. There is this girl I have been wanting to ask out for a long time. I am just not sure of the approach.

SUJATA: Well, according to my manual here, you should ideally start with an opener

CLIENT: An opener? You mean like a can opener?

SUJATA: No, I mean an opener line.

CLIENT: Oh, an opening line. Like what?

SUJATA: I have a whole online dictionary of all sorts of picking up phrases. Let me pick up a phrase right now. Let me see… here we go na? So, do you come here a lot?

CLIENT: Well, you see the girl goes to my school. So, I know that she goes there a lot.

SUJATA: Okay okay okay. So, we’ll use this one. Is there a gun in your pocket or are you just happy to see me.

CLIENT: I think that is a line for women to say hi to men in a riskee way, not for men to use on girls.

SUJATA: Oh, I see I see I see I see I see. Okay, I have another one na!

CLIENT: Na? What is na?

SUJATA: Oh, it is just something we say. Perhaps you should use that in your pick up line na?

CLIENT: This is not working. I have one other problem. I need to get more followers on Facebook. I have been on it for three years and only have 126 followers including my mom, sister, and cat.

SUJATA: Oh, that is not bad. Does your cat interact with you a lot on Facebook and share things?

CLIENT: Well, she shared a photo of a dead mouse, and shared my picture of her.

SUJATA: Oh, so sweet. Yes, according to our stats, photos of animals do quite well in Facebook as do photos of food, outerspace, and beautiful natural settings. It is the photos that make you go “awe” that will get shared the most. Perhaps you could have your cat do a selfie with a background of a Nebula or something like this na?

CLIENT: Let me try this. Okay, I’m going to do it with you on the phone. I have photo shop. Fluffie, and now… adding the Orion Nebula… When Santa’s helpers did a selfie, it was more of an “elfie…”

SUJATA: Oh, so you are a comedian too? Okay, I see the photo. I am going to share your photo with my followers. All 200,426 which includes most of my village in Karnataka, half of the computer literate folks in my part of Juhu Beach in Mumbai, and my clients in the United States.

CLIENT: This is amazing. My followers went up from 126 to 2126 in just ten minutes. You are amazing! You are the best Facebook helper I have ever met. As far as the dating tips — uh, maybe not. So, how do you do dating in your country just out of curiousity?

SUJATA: Oh, it is much easier. There are no pick up lines at all. Aunty or mom just meet other aunties, discuss if they have a son. We make sure they are from our subcaste first of course.

CLIENT: Of course! You gotta be from the same subcaste. That goes without saying. And then what?

SUJATA: Then, we learn what the boy’s father’s job is, and how old he is, and what the boy is doing for work etc. We make sure he has a suitable job. Whether we like each other is not part of the equation at all.

CLIENT: Oh, that makes it much easier. Because if you start out liking each other, that usually ends up with hate. Love turns to hate, at least in my dating relationships. If you start not liking each other, at least in the long run, there is a possibility that things could get better — so there would be hope.

SUJATA: Exactly. That is how we look at it too. We figure, that over the course of the marriage, we will eventually learn to love each other. It only took my parents fifteen years to learn to love each other.

CLIENT: Only fifteen years? Not bad.

SUJATA: Then, we invite the boy over and have chai. We decide within a time span of 20 minutes — the time it took me to get you 2000 additional followers on Facebook whether the marriage will work on not. Last, but not least then they ask me if I have an opinion.

CLIENT: So, what is the correct etiquette for you to say yes or no?

SUJATA: If I like the boy and feel he is a suitable match, I simply say yes.

CLIENT: And if you don’t like the boy?

SUJATA: Oh, that is quite straightforward as well. If I don’t like the boy I simply threaten to commit suicide by slitting my wrists with a dull and rusty razor blade if I am forced to marry the boy. That generally works with most Indian families.

CLIENT: Cool. I love it. I’m moving to India. Maybe I’ll have an easier time getting married over there. By the way, what caste would be considered over in your country?

SUJATA: Ummm. Let’s change the subject. Let’s talk about Facebook again. You see, you need to understand the algorithmic relationship between the photo and the line of text in any Facebook post. After a lengthy analysis of your posts, I have concluded that your main area of strength is that….

Social Media Optimization: Checking the effectiveness of each of your campaigns

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Social Media Optimization: Checking the effectiveness of each of your campaigns

It is a bit baffling these days with so many social media campaigns. Which ones should you use, and which ones do you understand? New ones come out every month too which adds to the complexity. Some are better for targeting younger folks, while Facebook is great for the 40-60 year old age segment. There are several analytics you need to understand when comparing social media venues.

(1) What is the cost of growing a particular campaign?
Do you spend three times the effort growing your Twitter campaign as your Facebook profile? Is your Stumbleupon or your Google+ a little faster to grow? Pay attention to how much effort goes into growing each type of campaign. On the other hand, if you really like a particular campaign, you will enjoy growing it which is another factor to consider.

(2) What types of results do you get after spending “x” amount of hours?
If you spend 100 hours on Twitter (did you count the hours?), how much gain did you get in your SEO? Can you measure that?

(3) What types of results did you get with $100 of pay-per-click on various mediums?
You can see how many clicks you got, and if there were any conversions that lead to traffic to your sales area in your site or actual purchases.

(4) How do you judge the quality of a click?
Not all clicks are created equal. Some lead to new followers, while others lead to sales. There are endless metrics you can use to compare click quality. If you are just starting out with a new network you can looks at: (a) How long each visitor spent on your site in seconds, (b) How many pages the average new visitor spent on your site. I learned that Facebook was better for one of my blogs while Twitter was better for another. So, there is no right answer. There are only answers that are right for specific situations. Also, consider which particular blog article you are promoting. Each different article will get different analytics, so get at least 40 clicks before you compare. Most new visitors will only skim your articles. Only a few will really read. The point here is to find out what percentage of your new followers will do some serious reading and clicking around.

(5) Sometimes the posts that did well on one network will do well on others
I noticed that some of the posts I had which did well on Google did well on Stumbleupon. We’ll see how that pans out in the long run. It is a little early to tell.

Good luck!

You might also like:

Active vs. dormant followers on Twitter

The Google algorithm has some serious issues

How consumers engage w/small businesses on Facebook

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More than half of consumers claim that Facebook is the most practical social medium for researching small businesses before making a purchase. There are various metrics on Facebook that allow the customer to get a sense of how good the company in question might be. First of all, Facebook posts often get great commentary from followers. Twitter and most other social mediums tend not to get much interaction. Google+ gets interaction, but doesn’t seem to have a very large regular crowd using it. Customers compare how many likes posts get and how many followers a campaign might have. The level of engagement and amusing content is also another factor, but customer reviews and ratings seem to be the most critical factor.

Special Offers Gain The Most Attention
Many companies also have special offers made on Facebook that can be redeemed or utilized in an actual brick and mortar. Additionally, promoted posts lead to more clicks to websites, and promoted posts with sweepstakes or prizes often do quite well.

Other ways that companies interact with their users besides Facebook special offers include:
(1) Promoted posts – which give you the ability to have a hugely augmented reach and get multiple times the visits.
(2) Sponsored stories – which entertain your clients and hence gain you loyalty and frequency of visits.
(3) Photo & video contests – you need a very large crowd to get people to be willing to do this. For small businesses, you might not have a critical mass, but for large businesses, it can result in free content for advertising or something fun to put on youtube.com
(4)Videos that encourage you to use your favorite products – a great way to get your customers to see your products in action.
(5) Prizes, giveaways and sweepstakes – this can be fun for your followers and attract new ones. However, prize giveaways are something that generally are not effective if you do them too frequently. For small businesses, perhaps twice or thrice a year is enough.
(6) Polls & Quizzes – Polls are great for you to learn what your clients like, or say they like. Their purchasing behavior is the real proof, but an added layer of knowledge can be helpful for your analytics department. Quizzes can be fun for some of your followers, but I wouldn’t have quizzes more than once in two months.
(7) Loyalty application promotions – Having a loyalty program can sometimes help a business and sometimes be more trouble than it is worth. But, try it out and see if you get any bites.

What types of businesses do consumers like to interface with on Facebook?
It seems that customers go more for restaurants, spas, and educational profiles on Facebook than for practical services. Facebook is a cyber-place that attracts people who want to relax and enjoy. So, you can see how seeing what’s new on the menu, or what your latest massage treatment is might be pleasing to a Facebook user. LinkedIn attracts more people who are interested in the practical side to business, networking, and having discussions about the technical aspects of their business. I personally run a Facebook for Notary service providers. It is a lively place to discuss technical issues, experiences, and ideas. However, the audience favors talking about personal experiences on the job which makes our profile personable and fun which is typical of a Facebook audience.

How should your company interact with its Facebook profile?
Facebook is a great tool to promote your business, but it is easy to use the network incorrectly. In my experience, the optimal way to use Facebook is to create a fun, engaging and entertaining atmosphere that people want to come back to. Yes, you can promote new products too, but don’t do it in a way that resembles selling. You can have specials too, because specials make people feel good. To create this type of pleasant atmosphere I recommend:

Informative posts with great photos – Facebook is one of the more visually oriented social media networks. Good photos will get you further on Facebook than Twitter for example. Having an interesting article about industry related information with a stunning photo will make people want to visit your page more often. If you are in the Restaurant business, you could have an article about a new type of dessert or steak, and have a sizzling photo to match it.

Regular interactive posts – Discussions are a great way to involve your users. My personal group averages more than a dozen replies per discussion and we are a tiny business. Having a quiz or poll from time to time not only will help you learn more about your users, but gives them a chance to interact with you in a meaningful way. I spend time each month going through several different forums looking for exciting new discussion topics to post and we typically post about 8-10 discussions per month. In your industry that might be too many, so you can experiment and see how well your discussions go.

Having special offers – discounts and specials are important, but don’t overkill. You don’t want your Facebook to look like an inexpensive marketplace. Keep the atmosphere fun, and then have specials from time to time. How often is up to you, but mix it in with the other fun stuff.

Stories – Stories that appeal to the emotions of your followers about experiences of your clients or others in the industry are a great way to get people to feel how their life will be like after they sample your products or services. Or, the story could be about things that your staff or other strangers not connected to you experienced. We use stories regularly and our followers keep emailing me saying how much they enjoy them! Remember, storytelling is the marketing technique of the future, so learn to master this art.

My Experience Marketing on Facebook
My personal experience with social media as a B2B website owner is slightly different than what the statistics might imply. When I make a special offer on Facebook, my newsletter, or anywhere else, it tends to be ignored. On the other hand, if I have a human being reach out to the right segment of my clients and offer them a special offer, it often results in sales (depending on how the industry as a whole is doing.) Our followers tend to like visiting our page regularly, love being involved in discussions, love to learn from other people’s experiences, and are generally fun. We get about 7% of our new clients as a result of our Facebook profile. They tend not to be the most business-like clients though which is not a surprise. Facebook is a feel-good site, and you attract happy people who like to interact on Facebook which is not a bad thing. LinkedIn might be a better place to find more business-oriented clients. As I said, I run a B2B, so the unbusiness-like people I attract on Facebook are in business, but don’t act like they take their business that seriously as a general rule.