Blog Consulting Services & Strategy | Communication Works Now

What started as online personal journals in the 1990′s has evolved into major publishing businesses such as Huffington Post that was sold recently for over $300 million. Blogging is used by companies to display their thought leadership and expertise. Blogs are now considered an important part of a company’s online image; 60% of businesses now have a blog, and 35% of them blog at least once a month.

Why You Should Blog:

  • Small businesses with blogs generate 126% more leads
  • 81% of US consumers trust information they receive on blogs
  • Websites with blogs have 434% more indexed pages
  • 61% of US consumers have made a purchase based on a blog post

Evolution of search engines has made the creation of unique content (blogs or articles) vital to improving your company’s online visibility.

What would you blog about? Communication Works Now has a simple starter format that will get you blogging in no time. And we have the background you need to create or edit your blog to ensure the most professional image:

  1. Three decades of experience as a journalist and writer
  2. Currently producing monthly, bimonthly or quarterly articles for national business publications
  3. Currently producing our own blog and blogs for clients

 

 

READ MY BLOG
Feb. 15, 2015
Why Facebook Changes to Fan Pages are Good for the "Good Guys"

What Facebook said:

"[Facebook users] told us they wanted to see more stories from friends and Pages they care about, and less promotional content."


What it means:

When Fan Pages post promotional content (i.e.,tells you to buy a product or download an app), Facebook will restrict the content from the news feed of those who have "liked" the Fan Page.

In other words, content that basically is an unpaid ad isn't going to show up in personal news feeds. However, Fan Page content that is educational, entertaining and engaging (and not promotional) will continue to show up in the news feed.

 

Why it's good: If you've been doing what we have recommended all along -only post content that your fans truly value - then you have nothing to fear. Think in terms of what your Fans enjoy, need to know, and want to share. Post content that is interesting, educational and not self-serving, and your Fan Page content will continue to be shared by Facebook.

Dec. 7, 2014

Facebook Changes for Fan Pages

You might have already heard about the changes that Facebook announced for fan pages. These are the pages a business or brand create. Followers or “fans” go the page and “like” it in order to accept posts from that page in their personal newsfeed.

Some respectable news outlets have positioned the changes as dire for fan pages. Here is the gist of it:

  • Facebook will reduce the number of posts from fan pages that are shared in the news feed.
  • Why? Facebook wants businesses and brands to spend more money on Facebook advertising.

I don’t think the changes are nearly as dire for fan pages as predicted by some. Here’s my take on it;

  • First and foremost, Facebook is just one social media outlet. If you are focusing most of your efforts on Facebook, it’s time to branch out. If you already use other social media outlets, beef up your posting to those outlets.
  • Increase your posts to Facebook. This will increase the chance of your posts being seen by your Facebook fans.
  • Redouble your efforts to build your Facebook following. If posts are being reduced, make sure what gets shared out there is shared with more people.
  • Break down and try some Facebook advertising. The most economical is “Boost Post” which I have tried on behalf of some clients and it has worked well. You set a modest budget of $20 or $30, and Facebook will show a designated post to either “friends of your friends” or to other people that you target according to geography or demographics.

One thing I’ve found regarding Facebook: It’s not worth getting bent out of shape about anything Facebook does. As soon as we get used to one change, another will come along!

Nov. 24, 2014
Keeping SCORE

This week I’d like to give thanks for my new business associates at SCORE.

I recently became a SCORE volunteer, with the goal of becoming a SCORE presenter. The certification was a bit arduous for an already overstretched business owner, but I made it through and I’m glad I did. The exercise introduced me to a cross-section of SCORE folks, and gave me a taste of their impressive collective expertise.

Since May, I’ve been “on the circuit” in the great company of Vic Goldberg, who heads the SCORE speaker’s bureau. It’s great to have a supportive buddy who also does the legwork of setting up speaking engagements, and putting them on my calendar.

I can’t express how much I’ve enjoyed the varied audiences! From my home turf of Southern Chester County Chamber and Western Chester County Chamber, to business owners up in Pottstown, Pa., and business students at West Chester University – the common thread is they are all open to new ideas and business learning,

SCORE mentors (shoutout to Steve Crumrine and Frank Milheim) also have reached out to me to provide small group workshops for their clients. When we can pull 3 to 5 folks together, we’ve conducted hands-on social media workshops. What fun to connect on a more individual basis!

Next week I’ll be included on a panel at a special program SCORE is putting on for women business professionals (see details for Dec. 10, shown at left). Once again, a great opportunity to meet folks I might not have met otherwise.

Overall, the caliber of SCORE people and programs is right up there with the best and brightest. I feel so grateful to be a part of it all – and I urge you to connect with SCORE in any capacity. I can say for sure, you’ll be a better business professional for it.

Nov. 17, 2014
Schedule Facebook Post: Redux

Facebook is giving me plenty to write about these days! I recently put up a blog about how to schedule your Facebook posts. Along with other changes that went into effect a week or so ago,

Facebook changed the way you schedule your Facebook posts.

When you go in to make a post, you will no longer see the little clock icon on the lefthand bottom of the "compose" box. No worries!

Go ahead and insert your content and photos. Then click on "Post." You will get a drop-down menu that allow you to post right then or to "Schedule." 

Select "Schedule a Post" and then go ahead and set up the date/time you'd like the post to appear. Just as before, you can schedule as many posts as you want, and you can review the scheduled posts on "Activity Log."


Nov. 10, 2014

Facebook News: Again

Facebook is giving its users more control over the posts and people they see most in their news feeds. On Friday, Facebook announced new filters in Settings that show the people, pages and groups an individual follows that posted the most in the past week, along with a summary.

If you "unfollow" someone in the heat of the moment and decide you miss their content, you now can bring up the list of recently un-followed people and add them back into your feed.

There are also new controls so users can opt to see fewer posts from a person or a page (instead of just un-following them outright).

Giving more power to its users is a smart move for Facebook, as the social giant has taken a lot of heat for controlling what people see and when they see it.

What does this mean for businesses posting to Facebook?

  1. Consider increasing your posts to get your business into the “posts the most” category.
  2. If individual users think you are posting too often, they can now simply reduce the number of posts they see rather than un-like your page altogether.
  3. Make sure you are posting content of interest to your target audience, as they’ll likely be thinking more critically about who they do and don’t want in their feed.
  4. Ask a question, raise an issue, use humor to get engagement, as engagement continues to be the best way to raise Facebook visibility.



Oct. 7, 2014

Pin a Post

In case you missed my presentation on "Five Things You Didn't Know About Facebook," I will share those 5 things here on my blog for the next 5 weeks.

Sometimes you have a policy or an important announcement that you'd like to keep at the top of your business Facebook page. You need to "pin" that post.  An example is on the Southern Lancaster County Chamber of Commerce Facebook page, which reminds members and community groups about the SLCCC's policy on posting to their page.

Here's how to pin a post:
  1. On any content already posted, hover your cursor over the post
  2. Click on dropdown arrow at right top of post
  3. Choose "Pin To Top"
  4. Post will move to top of page and stay there for about 7 days. If you need it to stay longer, make a note in your calendar to repin it every 7 days.

Sept. 22, 2014
Wear a White Hat

This Thursday, Sept. 25, I would like to welcome you personally to Network At Noon (see details at left) to hear Donna Murray, Director of Bayard Taylor Memorial Library in Kennett Square talk with us about the library's great programs right now, and big plans for a new BTML. My company,Communication Works Now, is sponsoring BTML as the presenter. What this means is that my company paid the sponsorship fee and donated the presentation spot to BTML.

I'm not sharing this to get a pat on the back. I am sharing this to plant a seed. I challenge you to choose a community or non-profit group, and do something to support or promote them.

 Why would a company do this? There are two important reasons: 

1. When businesses help community and non-profit organizations, our community is strengthened. When our community is stronger, our local economy grows.

2. It just makes good business sense. I have found that helping community or non-profit organizations always reflects very well on a business. Increasingly, people prefer to do business with companies that care. There's no better way to show that you care than to "put your money where your mouth is!"

Your takeaway: choose a group to support (if you have staff, let them choose) and then give generously. Your customers will admire you for being "the guy in the white hat," and we will all be the better for it.

Sept. 15, 2014 

The Sweet Spot

Social marketers face the same dilemma as all other marketers and advertisers: What's the right number of times to "touch" your target audience without driving them away?

I recently read a very detailed article that attempts to define the Social Media Sweet Spot for ushttp://www.fastcompany.com/3029019/work-smart/the-social-media-frequency-guide-how-often-to-post-to-facebook-twitter-linkedin-a

That author's bottom line is this:

  1. Post to Twitter at least 5 times a day.
  2. Post to Facebook five to 10 times per week.
  3. Post to LinkedIn once per day (20 times per month).

You might say, "Why so much?" It has to do with the sheer size of the social media feed: If you want to be sure that your connections see at least some of your posts, you have to post A LOT.

I have a slightly different view. I think the guidelines above are a bit too onerous for small to medium businesses. Here is what I recommend:

  1. Post to Twitter 1-3 times a day.
  2. Post to Facebook & LinkedIn 3-5 times a week.

In my experience, this provides enough presence that you won't be forgotten, but it won't burn you out, or wear out your welcome with customers.

Of course, remember to schedule it! Your best friend for this job is

 www.hootsuite.com

Sept. 7, 2014
The Secret

If there's a secret to successful Social Media, it's this: Schedule it!

 We all know how taking just one peek at Facebook can lead to a BIG distraction. If you're going on Facebook or any Social Media every day to make posts, there's no question this will be a "time suck."

 So what's a small business owner or manager to do? You schedule your Social Media posts a week (or more) in advance. There are two ways to do this:

 If you post only to Facebook, there is a new scheduling tool built into the bottom of the box where you enter the post. Just write your post, and look down for a tiny clock face. Click on that, and enter the date and time you want the post to go out. You can do this with an unlimited number of posts.

 After I've scheduled several Facebook posts, I like to look them over to make sure I've spaced them properly. Just click on your "Activity" tab and look at "Scheduled Posts." You can review what's in the queue, and choose to edit, reschedule or delete any of them.

 If you post to several Social Media accounts, use Hootsuite for your posting. Go to www.hootsuite.com and open a free account. Enter each of your Social Media accounts. Then you can enter one post, and tell Hootsuite which accounts you would like it sent to, and on what date and time. Hootsuite will also take an unlimited number of posts.


Sept. 1, 2014

Your Photo, Yourself

 Last week I was putting some time into building LinkedIn presence for a new client, and I was reminded of my pet peeve. Why do I see profiles entirely without a photo, or with a very poor photo? This is baffling. It's like showing up to a business meeting in your old, scruffy Saturday-chore clothing. 

 There's nothing more important to success with LinkedIn or any Social Media than a high-quality photo!

 Okay, I get it, many of us don't like photos of ourselves. That, of course, is because you have not invested in a truly exceptional photo. I get a lot of compliments on my photo, and I give all the credit to photographer Lindy Powers (visit www.lindypowers.com). Lindy really knows how to make everyone look their best!

 Why are photos so important? There are several reasons:

1. Research shows the human eye always seeks out the human face. When we look at a page or a screen, that's the image we look at first.

2. Humans are hard-wired for facial recognition. For that reason, people want to know what you look like.

3. Most likely, you are better-looking than you think. Many of us drag around a self-image formed in adolescence of a nerdy boy or a  not-pretty-enough-girl. You've grown up, gained skills and accomplishments, and have a lot to offer. Your dynamic energy makes you handsome/beautiful! A great photo will say all this - and more.



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