Thursday, November 20, 2014

5 Smarty-Pants Ways to Collect Emails from Facebook Fans by Aaron Lee

Facebook is constantly changing.
Changing its news feed algorithm, its design, its rules, its ad units…
And you can’t blame them.
In the world of tech, you either adapt & innovate or you die.
Where does this leave businesses trying to market themselves on Facebook?
In the same position, actually — you also must adapt or die.
And more & more you must pay — ie. devote more of your budget to Facebook ads to make sure you’re reaching fans.
That’s fine — and buying Facebook ads should bring you good results if you do it right. 
But before you start pouring too much money into ads, I’d advise you to first build relationships with your fans *outside of Facebook*. That way you can insulate your business from the volatility & change mentioned above.
What’s the best way to build relationships with your fans outside of Facebook?
Simple. Create an email list & collect their emails!
In this blogpost, I’ll show you 5 clever ways to do that.

5 Smarty-Pants Ways to Collect Emails from Facebook Fans

1. Add a standard Sign-Up Form tab app

My first tip is the most basic.
Use your current email service provider (Mailchimp, Constant Contact, Aweber, etc.) by connecting it to one of your Facebook tab apps.
Here are some tab app providers that can help you get this set up:
Use this method to promote your business’s newsletter on your Facebook page.
Here is a great example from the sassy Erika Napoletano (I love how her tabs & hair stand out).

2. Offer an Incentive

The 2nd method encourages your fans to exchange their emails in return for something valuable — like an ebook, video, white paper or infographic.
Check out how Kim Garst uses ebooks on her Facebook page to incentivize fans to share their emails.
See how she uses killer headlines to get fans to click?
You can also use your Cover Photo to promote your incentives!
For example, check out this neat trick from Melanie Duncan:
When you click on the cover image, Melanie provides a link you can click to share your email.  Awesome!
If you’re selling a product, you can also give coupons to fans in exchange for their emails.
This helps entices them to share their emails while also incentivizing them to buy your products.

3. Run a Contest

Running a contest is a great way to build an email list. But you’ll need to use a tab app to run it.
Timeline contests are free & easy to organize — but they don’t allow you to collect emails from your fans.
Tab apps do! And if you make fans compete for something they want, they’re much more likely to hand over their emails to enter the competition.
Malaysia Airlines ran this contest to collect emails from Facebook fans:
TIP:  try to incentivize fans to promote your contest to their friends.
You can do this by increasing their chances of winning (allowing more than one entry, for example) if they share the contest with their friends.

4. Run a Co-Promotion

This Facebook marketing technique involves partnering with another person or business to co-promote some kind of giveaway.
Gary Vaynerchuk crushed it with this method while promoting his new book.
He basically partnered with other companies & gave them a chance to get exposure while also promoting the book & providing prizes for fans.
So it’s a win for Gary, the partner company & the audience!


 5. Drive Traffic to your Website

My last tip involves driving traffic away from Facebook to your homepage or blog.
With the new news feed algorithm update, link posts have better reach than ever.
This means you have a better chance than ever to drive fans back to your website & collect their emails.
The best way to do this is to share well-written, valuable blogposts — and then have an email opt-in on your blog posts:
  • in the side bar
  • in a lightbox pop-up
We use this method on the Post Planner blog & get thousands of new subscribers every month!

Tools to Centrally Monitor Your Social Mentions by Lisa Karl

Do you want to find company mentions beyond news articles and blogs?
Do you want to monitor social mentions and metrics?
Mention and SumAll each offer a single dashboard so you can track mentions on social media, websites and blogs. With these tools, you don’t have to hop back and forth between networks to gather data to compare.
In this article you’ll discover how Mention and SumAll provide all the data you need to get the big picture of your online presence.
monitor social mentions
Find out how to centrally monitor your social mentions.

Mention is a real-time Internet listening tool that lets you create alerts (similar to Google Alerts). But instead of pulling results from just news articles and blogs, Mention delivers results from millions of sources including social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Mention also lets you monitor sources in 42 languages.
Creating a Mention alert is easy: Simply click Create Alert and fill in the parameters.Name your alert (e.g., Social Media) and add any keywords you want to include in the search. You can add up to four ‘OR’ keywords.
When you get your results, if there are too many or they’re irrelevant, you can filter them by adding ALL or NONE keywords in the advanced settings. In this example I used “social media” as a keyword phrase. Because it’s so broad, I added “Tips” to the “And all of the following words” section.
mention alerts settings
Add the keywords or phrases you want to monitor.
On the next screen, you can choose what to monitor. By default, all sources are turned on, but if you only want results from social networks, for example, you can turn off notifications from the web.
Are there websites out there that you know are promotional or provide aggregated or irrelevant content? Add those website URLs to further filter your results.
When you’ve customized your alerts, pull up your dashboard. On the far left you’ll see that you can sort mentions by priority, favorites, relevance and more. You can also quickly see the social accounts you’ve connected to Mention, as well as tasks, statistics and activity.
In the next column you’ll see a preview of the mentions found based on the alert you created. Click on the preview to see the full mention in the reading pane to the right.
mention dashboard
Scan your real-time alerts and read your mentions.
You have the option to mark mentions as favorites, send them to the trash or flag them as irrelevant. Anytime you mark a mention as irrelevant, you’ll stop receiving mentions from that source—it’s a good way to further filter results and cut down on the noise.
If you want to clear up your feed, but need to save a mention for later, you can archive it.
If you’ve connected your social accounts to Mention, you can easily reply or join a conversation right from your Mention dashboard.
Tasks allow you to share your comments and assignments with team members. You can keep up with assignments and tasks by clicking on Activity.
statistics in mention
See the number of mentions and where they came from at a glance.
Click on Statistics & Exports in the left column to bring up the data for your alert. This shows the number of mentions from your alert, the timeframe and where those mentions are coming from. You can even see the country of origin and the languages used.
If you want to save mentions and examine them later, use the Export Data button to create a downloadable file.
Mention’s basic plan is free, but you’re limited to one alert. Paid plans start at $29 per month and allow multiple users and alerts. You can use Mention on their website, aniPhone or Android phone or by installing the Chrome extension.


SumAll allows you to track activity across 50 platforms (including ecommerce) and compare and analyze the connections among all of them. From social updates to emails to sales, you can easily track your traffic across the Internet.
platforms that connect to sumall
A partial list of the accounts you can connect to SumAll.
At the top of your dashboard, you can easily choose what information you’d like to see. You can filter views for each account, stream and timeframe you want to compare. For example, you can compare performance on the third week of this month to the same week last month.
sumall dashboard
SumAll’s clean and easy-to-read interface shows you how your networks are doing.
On the far right, you’ll see that you can share account information with team members or see detailed information (via charts) about particular metrics (e.g., likes, comments, unlikes, etc.). You can also compare things like your number of Facebook fans and your number of Twitter followers.
Automatic Publishing
SumAll also offers a publishing tool for Twitter and Facebook pages. The Twitter publishing options are thank-you tweets to your top three followers, weekly performance and monthly performance. You can choose one or all of the options.
sumall publishing
SumAll has a number of automatic post options.
The Facebook publishing option automates choosing and republishing the best posts from last year (these are published every Thursday as a Throwback Thursday post). Don’t worry about the post being cringe-making; SumAll emails you the post for approval beforehand.
There are two plans offered by SumAll: basic (free) and premium ($9/month). With a premium account, you get an assigned SumAll expert, tips and access to new features first. You also get alerts if your posting frequency drops. In addition to the desktop version, SumAll also offers an app in iTunes and for Android phones.
Caveat: Due to the private API, SumAll can’t connect your Twitter account. LinkedIn also isn’t available on SumAll at this time.
Wrapping Up
There you have it! Mention and SumAll both give you important information so you don’t miss anything along the way.
With these two easy-to-use tools, you can monitor the Internet for mentions of your business and stay on top of your metrics without constantly jumping from network to network to check tags and analytics.

How to Nail SEO: 7 Tips Proper search engine optimization means more visitors to your website by Christina DesMarais

IMAGE: Getty Images
Most companies rely on the internet in one way or another to connect with customers but not everyone is using it as well as they could be. For example, search engine optimization (SEO) is tricky and constantly in flux, depending on the algorithms the search engines are using at any given time. But according to Paul Altieri, CEO of, the largest online retailer of pre-owned Rolex watches, he's figured out some simple tricks to increase the visibility of his website.
Here's what he says you need to do to nail SEO.

1. Become an SEO expert.

Sure, you can hire someone who knows how to do SEO, but ultimately no one will have as much passion about drawing more visitors to your website than you. Altieri suggests making use of the plethora of free resources available online, such as the blogs and how-to guides you can find at sites such as MozHubSpotSearch Engine Land, and Local SEO Guide. Then, read these resources voraciously.
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2. Build an advisory panel of experts.

Once you've educated yourself on SEO, you'll be better prepared to bring in advisers to help you with your strategy. Ideally, these experts are located near you and can meet with you in person on a regular basis. "You absolutely need to find someone locally who can work on your website, utilizing all the new tools of coding, images, and development," he says.

3. Use the right online software tools.

Google and Bing Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics are free and an absolute must, Altieri says. He also suggests sites such as SimilarWebahrefs, and Majestic, all of which have forums and blogs that are fantastic resources for small businesses trying to figure out SEO. He also recommends IfByPhone, which will give you a unique, trackable phone number that's specific for each of your ads or marketing campaigns. "It will help you track every phone call that was generated from that activity," he says. "It's pretty inexpensive--usually $3 to $5 per month plus whatever usage is."

4. Build your brand with quality content.

Effective SEO used to involve putting into place lots of backlinks to your site from other places, but today Google rewards websites that feature quality content, not just verbiage stuffed with the keywords you think will elevate your site in search rankings. Basically, Google has become adept at crawling every page on your website to determine if it's legitimate or trying to game search.
Once you've invested time creating authentic and engaging content, Altieri suggests sharing your story with local newspapers and bloggers in your space. "Comment back to them, read their stories, and pitch them about your product and company," he says.

5. Be one of the good guys.

If you want people to do business with you online, they need to be able to trust you, especially since there's so much fraud and unethical behavior on the internet. "Don't be one of the bad companies; be the good guys," he says, pointing to Zappos, which offers a 365-day return policy. "It's crazy, but that's the kind of thing you need to do in today's day and age," he says.

6. Use responsive web design.

People use their devices to surf the internet all the time, but many websites are not optimized for mobile. Responsive web design is code that allows your site to recognize and respond to a user's screen size, whether it's a phone, a tablet, or a computer monitor. "You will get rewarded by Google for having a responsive design website as opposed to maybe a competitor that doesn't," he says.

7. Use a content delivery network.

Once Bob's Watches began using high-resolution images on its site, it was penalized by Google for having slow load times. Now the company uses CloudFlare, which mirrors its website across the world. "So when someone in France is dialing up, they're going to get the Paris-based version because it would take too long to load those images all the way across the world to Indiana, which is where our server is," he says. "Same thing in L.A. If you're in Los Angeles and you're dialing up Bob's Watches it's going to load from the L.A.-based server."

Now This Is How You Handle a Bad Yelp Review by Jill Krasny

A Kansas City restaurant owner found a clever way to put a nasty reviewer in her place.

Nasty (and baseless) Yelp reviews? Every restaurant's had one. But when one Yelp reviewer lashed out at Voltaire last month, the Kansas City, Missouri, establishment that refused to plate her order, she truly got her comeuppance. "The manager, Jamie, said, 'Our food is plated beautifully, and we can't put it in a to-go container,'" wrote Sonal B. in her one-star review. "So thanks, Jamie, we'll just starve." 
William G., Voltaire's owner, had a few choice words of his own. "Being a Yelp user, I'm sure you were aware that on our Yelp business page, on the right side of the screen, it lists details about our establishment," he wrote in response a day later. "There is an item listed 'Take-out: No.'" From there, he proceeded to explain his restaurant's fairly pragmatic reasoning for this--"we believe the food we prepare should be presented as we see fit, (usually) on a plate inside the dining room"--then dismissed Sonal's comments for what they were: "threats." 
It wasn't long before the posts went viral, appearing on Reddit with commenters spewing all sorts of vitriol about Yelp and Sonal B. As Jon Taffer, host of Spike TV's Bar Rescue, explains, such situations are not uncommon, but few business owners know how to handle them because "social media is not just posting--it can destroy your business" and "the playground of social evaluations is not a fair one."
This doesn't mean entrepreneurs can't fight back, however. Like William, Taffer recommends responding directly to reviewers, and not allowing one or two bad ones to deter your strategy. "If there's a bad incident or two, your sheer volume of comments will protect it," he says. 
So, how do you encourage customers to get posting? By encouraging them to post all the time, says Taffer. "You teach your servers to connect with their guests" and tell them to support you. And "if you're doing a good job," the good reviews will come pouring in. It's about being preemptive and "making the balance your way." 
As for those pesky anonymous reviews, the Virginia Supreme Court plans to rule on those in January. In 2012, an Alexandria rug-cleaning business filed a defamation lawsuit claiming its reputation was tainted by Yelp reviewers who said he overcharged, and now the owner hopes to unmask the identities of those critics. 

How to Combat Negative Yelp Reviews

Jon Taffer, host of Spike TV's 'Bar Rescue', delivers his game plan to combat negative reviews on websites like Yelp.