Facebook Groups logo

YIKES! My Facebook Group Got Hijacked by Competitors

When you start a group online in a public social platform, it’s easy. Nothing much happens until your group hits a ‘tipping point” of size + engagement + activity.

Facebook Groups logo

Facebook Groups logo

Different groups achieve this at different points in time. We have a sports group run for a client that has nearly 2,200 members and gets 2–3 posts daily from group members. It is now attracting ‘commercial’ elements such as an advert for privately owned equipment listed for sale.

Interestingly, that one post opened a floodgate of listings from others. It seems as though people felt that ‘permission’ had been given to dive in and sell to the group.

The client runs the group in public at his expense and he refrains from selling into the group more than once a month for his own products. It was clearly time for an intervention and setting boundaries about what is acceptable behaviour in this group environment.

3 Types of ‘Sales Pitch’

1) The first was the lady who listed the equipment for sale. I messaged her privately and she told me that despite getting a huge reaction from the group, it was a private sale and she sold it to a friend, offline. We let this pass as just a one-off. Clearly every member of the group won’t be listing items weekly.

2) The second was a lady who runs an Instagram account through which she gives ‘free training programmes’. We checked out what she does and came to the decision that she’s not making a living out of this. And so I am classifying her as a ‘volunteer’. But her actions need to be curtailed because regular postings promoting her services (even though they are free) would upset the balance of the discussion dynamic already established.

Actions to mitigate impact

We messaged the Instagram lady privately, explaining she can publish her stuff on the website via an existing ‘submit post’ feature where community notices are published. This is important because although it publishes to the blog, it is set up to avoid getting into the newsletter, the Facebook page and other communications channels. She does get indexed by the SEO spiders, gets link backs, but does not get referenced or categorised in the archive.

3) By contrast, the third type of pitch was a post by a commercial sports professional trainer. When we reviewed it, we found it is definitely a paid promotion designed to recruit readers from the client’s Facebook group into HER email list and commercial program.

Actions to Arrest Unwanted Activity

First I turned off comments on this post. Nobody can add to them, and this helps prevent Facebook showing it in feed updates. We also removed all her replies in the comments because they linked to her programme over and over again.

Then we wrote to her privately asking her to get in touch by email so she can pay to promote her products on our platforms, along with other commercial retailers (the website is advertising supported). I am waiting to see what her reply to this Facebook message will be – if she’s contrite and apologetic, I’ll leave her post published; if she takes no action to reply or is aggressive and rude, I’ll delete it and block her from the group.

Behavioural boundaries are yours to define

The underlying logic is that commercial enterprises pay, and volunteers can get access as part of the goodwill of the group. The commercial publicist had made no effort to engage and join in the group discussion – she just joined, dove in and started selling. That’s not how this group rolls.

Making the rules for the group is part of good practice in community management. You can publicise these with a pinned post, or a message to new members explaining what is and is not acceptable.

Enforcing the boundaries will help you to create the group and community YOU want. Know what actions you will take if the boundaries are crossed and also understand how to take discussions into a private space – you don’t want to have a public argument while you try to explain your motives. And you don’t even need to explain them, only the acceptable behaviours.

This article first appeared on NZ Entrepreneur Magazine  

nz marketing summit 2017

Foster Innovation at the NZ Marketing Summit 2017

Spark ideas, develop strategies, and add value to your brand while joining New Zealand’s leading marketers at the annual NZ Marketing Summit. Listen to our own CEO, Rebecca Caroe, in her session on “Strengthening the brand-agency partnership – how to work with an expert (when you aren’t one)”.

Attend Four International Keynotes

  • Brigitte Slattery (Head of Marketing – Lifestyle Group @ Foxtel Australia)
  • Nick Lanzafame (Head of Strategic Insights & Analytics @ Buzzfeed)
  • Charlotte Dewhurst (Global Marketing Direct @ Les Mills International)
  • Col Kennedy (General Manager – Brand & Customer Experience @ Country Road)

Explore Three Programming Tracks

  • Digital & Social
  • Brand & Content
  • Tech & Experiential

Along with the 20+ speakers featured, the Marketing Summit offers a choice of two full-day workshops. “The Content Workshop” and “Brand Building Blocks 2.0” will be held the following day on September 22nd.

Join and connect with 300+ fellow industry professionals in generating and exchanging insights to fuel brand development. You can register before 5pm on August 25th and secure early bird pricing.

SKYCITY Convention Center, Auckland

21 September 2017

8:30am – 5:00pm

Book Your Ticket

bad copy, unclear business name,

What do you do? Explain, clearly or lose leads

I want to showcase this list of three businesses who want to grow their international connections.  Shared by a reputable international facilitator organisation, these exemplify the utter incompetence of smart people when answering the question “What do you do?”.

I despair.

bad copy, unclear business name,

Poor descriptions of business loses leads

How to differentiate your business

We did some work this week with a consultancy who describe themselves as “Family Business Specialists“.  How straightforward.  I know who they advise…. I don’t yet know what they do – but that three word description allows me to filter myself in or filter myself out of using their services.  Either I am or I am not a family business.  Either I need or I do not need a family business advisor.

Who wants to work with an

“Extremely passionate and dedicated consultancy who loves its customers.  We live to server our customers.”

Now maybe this is a clever IT joke “I server my customers, you server your customers etc”. Or more probably it’s a spelling mistake nobody spotted.  Never mind that – every consultancy can claim passion, dedication and customer services.  It doesn’t say what TYPE of consulting they do or for whom.

C’mon.

10 questions to answer before writing your elevator pitch

  1. Who are you and what do you offer?
  2. What is the company history?
  3. Who are the key personnel?
  4. Who are your clients?
  5. Which are your case histories?
  6. Who are your competitors?
  7. What’s different about you?
  8. Who is your target market?
  9. What are your company objectives?
  10. Where does your company want to be in 5 years time?

This is Step 1 in our New Business Development workshop – during which you write a one year marketing plan, and from which you will understand how all the parts of the “marketing mix” join up to deliver successful communications to your prospects.

 

Read more blog posts about Step 1 State your Business by clicking the image below – it will take you to that category on our blog.  Teach yourself, how to describe your business successfully.Symbol for who is your brand in new business development

social media conference 2017 auckland

Become Social Media Savvy with the Social Media Conference 2017

This September, the Social Media Conference is happening again! We are big fans of the content, even more so this year because our very own Rebecca Caroe is a speaker!

Are you looking to use Social Media to benefit your business but just don’t know how?

Social Media isn’t just for kids these days. In fact, it’s one of the biggest platforms for a business to market in today’s environment. Whether it be Business to Consumer or Business to Business, the Social Media Conference 2017 provides insights on how to utilise these skills to your business benefit.

Expand your knowledge in this field through New Zealand’s biggest Social Media conference hosted by The Online Business Academy for its fourth year.

Rebecca Caroe Social Media Conference

Rebecca Caroe (CEO of Creative Agency Secrets)

Marketing experts from all over the world come together to talk about their experiences with Social Media, how it helped them in their business ventures and how it can help you market to a larger audience through Social Media.

Listen

  • Wanita Z (Founder of the Online Business Academy)
  • John Kapos “Chocolate Johnny” (Chocolatier to Marketing Mogul)
  • Andrew Baird (Business Coach)
  • Our very own Rebecca Caroe on “The Art of Pre-suasion: Content, Keywords and Social.” 

Discover

  • Omni channel Experience
  • Social Selling through Social Media
  • How to run Live Events

Learn 

  • Be Seen, Heard and Found Online
  • Build and networking your brand through Social Media Outlets
  • Win your customers through Social Media
  • Deal with the difficult customers online

 Master 

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Snapchat
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest
  • YouTube
  • And much more

Seize the opportunity to network with business owners from all over the country and develop connections for your business. Gain information that can assist with expanding your business through Social Media platforms and understand how Social Media aids with keeping up to date with the evolving business world. If you’re serious about expanding your business, you wouldn’t want to miss Social Media Conference 2017.

SkyCity Auckland
September 15th and 16th 2017
8:00am – 5:00 pm

 Use the code “REBECCA” at the checkout to get a $250 discount!

RESERVE YOUR SPOT
Ranking Factors 2017 report from SEMRush

What’s new in SEO? 5 actions to do today

Last week I got the latest research on SEO from trusted brand SEM Rush.  You can download and read their report Ranking Factors 2017 in SEO.

Ranking Factors 2017 report from SEMRush

Ranking Factors 2017 report from SEMRush

Creative Agency Secrets has read the whole report and below are 5 SEO tasks you can initiate immediately for your own website or ecommerce store.

The report has a number of chapters each of which is followed by “What this means to you as a marketer”  Read these pages for the SEMRush interpretation of their research findings.

5 SEO actions for 2017

  1. Check you have a secure (https) website.  Get a SSL Certificate installed if your url begins http://. See Secure websites below
  2. Find websites which can link back to you.  Clients, Suppliers, News / Magazines, Directories.  See Referring Domains below
  3. Get ideas for your SEO and your content creation from Answer the Public research tool
  4. Use more keywords on your “cornerstone” content pages.  See Keywords below.
  5. Plan the visitor pathway through your site especially with a view to reducing bounce rate.

The Detailed insights

Note these are paraphrased from the SEMRush report including some verbatim quotes.  All the ACTION FOR YOU tasks are recommendations by us for your website or ecommerce store. The page numbers are the actual page number in the report NOT the number top RHS.

If you want help, Creative Agency Secrets offers 2 services – we can do it for you; we can teach you how to do it yourself.

  1. Secure websites – page 6.  The higher the page position in search, the higher the keyword search volume most sites are secure https domains.  We interpret this that websites with SSL are trusted and are gaining over plain www and http sites.
  2. Referring domains – page 10. The pages that rank higher have more backlinks from unique domains. Websites that appear on SERPs for high-volume keywords have significantly more backlinks than ones that appear for low-volume keywords — almost 10 times more.  ACTION FOR YOU the competition for high-volume keywords is vicious, and those websites are invincible. But for low-volume keywords the competition is not so tough, so some link building could bring tremendous results.
  3. Content length – page 18. What we saw first was that there is generally more content on the pages that rank higher for all search volume intervals.  There is more content on the pages with long-tail keywords than on those with short-head keywords. ACTION FOR YOU  pick your “cornerstone” content pages and work them HARD for SEO goodness.  Content length is important for your page’s success as long as it is valuable, well-written, and optimised, especially if you target high volume keywords.
  4. Keywords – page 23.  In the high volume keyword group. the majority of the pages add a keyword to their title, meta and body copy but the occurrence of the keyword in the meta description does not influence the page rankings. Pages that rank for long-tail keywords repeat those keywords less often than pages that rank for short-head keywords. The pages on the first positions (for both longtails and short-heads) have noticeably more keywords than all other pages. ACTION FOR YOU If you plan to rank by long tail keywords, having an exact-match keyword in your on-page SEO elements is not crucial. In fact, it is more important to diversify the semantic core of your text and make it relevant to the target keyword rather than copying it.  The presence of a video didn’t show a significant influence on page rankings, so we came to the conclusion that video itself is not a silver bullet. However, in certain niches clients expect video content, so it makes sense to provide it. Consider your audience’s demands, and if they include visual support, use video.
  5. Volume of visitors – page 33.  Not a strong correlation to page rank here especially if your search phrases are low(er) volume searches. For the low-volume keyword group, the trend is flat, indicating that a page’s position does not strongly correlate with its number of total monthly visits. For high-volume popular keywords, the number of page visits gets noticeably smaller for sites that rank below the 12th position. ACTION FOR YOU this means organic search is not the only thing you should be concentrating on. Drive a strong traffic from direct and social media linked visits by pushing brand awareness on these platforms and also through newsletters.
  6. Bounce Rate – page 37.  The higher a page’s position is, the lower its bounce rate.  The user navigates through three to three-and-a-half pages per website, per visit. As your site moves towards the top of the SERP, there are more pages per session for every domain. ACTION FOR YOU firstly ensure you have strong internal page linking.  Think about what you want the visitor to do next on every page.  Connect with Cornerstone content discussed above.  Also analyse your rivals (How to compare my site to a competitor’s) Inside Google Analytics, check your queries performance and lastly, find low ranking pages for Bounce and improve them to reduce bounce rate and page rank.

 

Marketing offer, SEMRush, creative agency secrets,

SEMRush custom offer at the end of the report

And a cunning end-point which is a marketing “trick” I’ve used a lot for clients – on the very, very last page is an offer.  A really good one.  SEMRush will do a niche study for your industry if you write to ask.  We did (for a client) and they said they’d been overwhelmed and would put it on the list…. but still.  This is a fabulous reward for the people who do read all the way to the end.  #TopTip

Ready to rock with some improvements on your business SEO?  Let’s get started together!

What is an Expert?

How to hire any expert e.g. a website developer

It’s really easy to find a specialist supplier.  It’s really difficult to find out if they are any good at that specialism.  Especially when it is in an area that you know nothing about.

What is an Expert?

What is an Expert? Image Credit: Workcabincommunications.ca

Giving a keynote speech to an industry group recently I was stunned to find how many felt that they did not have the confidence to hire a website designer.  This motivated me to write this short guide.

How to hire an expert (when you don’t know)

Are you a business owner who feels that they got mis-sold or ripped off by a website design project?

Did you pay a lot of money and find that the website you got did not deliver what was promised?

This is my tried and tested technique that will help you to find a supplier who is both an expert and will work well with your project situation.

  1. Start with the outcome you want.  Can you describe in plain English what you want to happen by the end of the project?  Use this to explain what you want to buy.  So you could say I need a website that  will showcase my products to customers living in Australian cities who buy mens fashion.  That is much clearer than “I want a website that will put me on page one of Google”. [By the way, that’s impossible to promise – so don’t trust anyone who says they can do this for you.] When we work with clients seeking websites, read the descriptions we write about their projects.
  2. Ask good questions.  By gaining detail from questions, you can discover the depth of expertise in each business you talk to.  Let’s say you have a written quote from a web developer explaining how they’d achieve your outcome.  You can ask them questions like “What’s the best way to achieve my outcome?” and “How will you go about doing that?”.  So if they say that on-page SEO is the best way to achieve search results for customers living in Australian cities who buy mens fashion, ask them to show you HOW they’ll do it.  Step.  By.  Step.  Yes, I’d ask them to explain in this level of detail.  If they can’t do it, or do not appear consistent, or are unwilling that’s a big red flag that they may not have a robust process methodology.
  3. Know the language they use and understand it.  Write down the words they use in written submissions and in conversation.  Go away and look them up.  What is on-page SEO? How do UTM Tags work?   There is no shame in research and increasing YOUR knowledge.  And afterwards, you can follow up and get them to explain more about the phrase they used once you understand what it is.  So that’s back to Step 2 – ask good questions.
  4. Run tests when you are face to face.  Any skilled operator should be able to show you real live work jobs that they have done or are currently working on that will be using the same techniques as your project. So when you meet your expert – get them to SHOW you what they mean.  Open up Google Analytics for YOUR website live in the meeting on your laptop.  Ask them for their views on your recent traffic history.  Watch how they browse inside Google Analytics – do they know the sub-menus, can they navigate confidently to the answer they’re talking about, do they explain something which you hadn’t noticed?  Nobody who works in marketing should be ignorant of GA.  Including YOU.  So if they don’t or can’t use it.  Run away fast.  Another test you can run is to show them a problem you have and ask how they’d fix it.  Then ask them “How will I know that this problem is fixed?” so that they show you the proof that they are an expert and good at their job and can prove it as well.
  5. Think hard before hiring a friend.  Many business people like to recommend other businesses.  Nothing wrong with this.  But in my experience, your friend or your friend’s friend is probably not the only person who can help you.  Do interview the friend, but also go and look for other supplier experts and compare them fairly.  You want the best value for your business, after all, don’t you?

Now you’ve got a good core set of skills to start your expert hiring process.  Be courageous and keep good records – you won’t regret it.

 

And if you want a website built, or some direct response copywriting, or a video made and overall effective marketing done that brings in sales – get in touch with us.  We will either teach you how to do it yourself or we can do it for you.  Easy!

local directories

Boost Your Business with Local Directories

Don’t let your business get lost in the crowd

Yellow pages directoriesIt’s that time of the year again where we remind you about the benefits of good ol’ directories! Before the internet, we relied on finding services through the big yellow brick of a book we received each year. Thanks to the world wide web, we now find them stuffed under uneven table legs or as a booster seat. Today we find what we’re looking for with a click of a button. Does your business stand out?

In 2016, Google took away the right-hand sidebar where the paid adverts were displayed. Now the paid posts soar straight to the top, making it a tough battle for smaller companies to get noticed. Directories can be a cost effective way to help get found via search engines. Being active on directories increases the chances of your business getting noticed.

Why updating your information is vital

yelp directoriesIt is important to keep your business updated in directories. If your business has gone through a recent change and you didn’t update your information, you could lose a lot of potential customers!

Never forget to NAP, this means not sleeping on the details. Make sure your Name, Address and Phone data is accurate and up to date. Location and accessibility are two of the most important factors when it comes to customers. If your telephone number is an old one and a customer can’t get through to you, they’re unlikely to try again. Likewise, if you were to put your address as a small town in South America, a New Zealand customer wouldn’t follow up with your business!

Pro tip: Check the directories your company is listed in and confirm your details are correct. Some websites take their information from others; resulting in a cycle of incorrect information.

Updated List of Directories

This year, we bring you an even bigger list of potential directories your business may be found in. Take a look to see where your business is listed and where it isn’t.

It’s the only thing standing in between you and your next big client.

NB: Not all directories will apply to every type of business, some are more specific to particular fields. (eg. Tripadvisor will benefit restaurants and hotels over a telecommunications company.)

Localist Yellow Hotfrog Finda Lawlink
Nzpages Zipleaf Gopher NZS Wand
Yelp BusinessMe NZDirectory Cylex EnrollBusiness
Kompass Bing Yahoo Zapmeta Zenbu
Foursquare NZBusinessDB Local Business Network Mapsconnect Beanhunter
Google Plus Tripadvisor TOMTOM Ratebeer Pathlegal
Factual TheFishSite 2FindLocal Spoke Company.fm
Salespider Tupalo Brownbook MarineDirectory ExpressBusinessDirectory
Where2go myhuckleberry NZ.wowcity Cybo Bedandbreakfast-pages
GetFave Lacartes TopDesignFirms YelloYello Bizexposed
Opendi MyWeddingGuide Find-us-here Finditonline Callupcontact
Creative Agency Secrets live chat icon

Increase customer engagement through live chat

How can you increase customer engagement through live chat on your website?

Creative Agency Secrets live chat icon

Creative Agency Secrets live chat icon

 

A question I received and I thought the answers given were intriguing.  Because after the obvious answers, yes it should engage – because people talking to people, if done respectfully, should successfully answer questions and possibly transact sales.  But the risk here is for marketers to try to create inappropriate outcome measures like ‘engagement’ from customer service activities.

More people on the site should chat with the live chat representatives.  These are real people.  Don’t even think of trying to use bots.  It undermines your brand – unless that’s what your brand values are – robotic.

Use more than one chat option

I would also recommend adding Facebook Messenger as a second live chat option. So many people use it in their private lives, it can be used to build trust with your brand in a medium the customer is already familiar with.

Try this integration for Messenger [disclaimer – I’ve never tried it].

Create a secondary output from chat

We have a mantra to “Write once: Use Three Times”.  And chat is a great source of content for marketing.

We recommend using the chat interactions as source material for your content marketing. Every question should become an FAQ answer.  And a blog post.  And part of your product descriptions, and and and.

Did you know that you can also build a mailing list using the Facebook pixel from your Messenger interactions?

Using this, you can do push messaging using FB straight into Messenger which is an awesome replacement for email marketing.  Particularly as many lists are suffering high unsubscribe rates from customers with over-loaded inboxes.

Happy to discuss further if you need.

Read more on related topics by clicking the icons below

Symbol for marketing communications Symbol for relationship development Symbol for creating new business opportunities

WooRank Website Test Tool

How to test your website is working effectively

May I show you a little insider secret from the world of web marketing?  It’s called a website rank check tool.  It shows you a score out of 100 for how well your website is built, secured and how well it delivers marketing engagement.

My favourite one is the WooRank tool – I have it installed in the toolbar of my Chrome browser.  But you can use this website or the HubSpot Website Grader Tool does a similar job – but from behind a registration paywall.

We use this when testing SEO on a website for clients.  But you can do it yourself – we’ll show you how.

A case study Central Flowers

WooRank Website Test Tool

WooRank Website Test Tool

I read a lot of newsletters and when I got one from a printer and web design company, I clicked through to their gushing review of their team’s work building a website for their customer.  So I decided to do an independent check on the website.  It scored 52.3/100.  Hardly a rip-roaring success for a new site.

You can see the result here and it demonstrates two things

  1. The web team are only designing for HUMAN visitors, not SEARCH ROBOTS
  2. The client is not expert in hiring and buying expertise.

First things first.  The web team should know about these issues

  • Headings should be in a hierarchy (they choose to only use H1)
  • Three image Alt attributes missing (so search engines can’t index the image and link back)
  • No anchor text in several external links (except the one going to the web design company)
  • No language declared (so the search engines know it’s English)
  • No blog – so the web rankings won’t become good because the site won’t get regularly updated (this is a failure of marketing strategy more than web design)
  • Secure (SSL) website but registered to a different domain (a property management company)
  • Automatic Copyright update to the correct year (it’s 2016 on the site)

These are hygiene factors.  They show up the lack of quality control by both the developers and to a lesser extent by the client.

The #1 mistake business owners make when buying a new website

The mistake is to buy a pretty design layout.  This is made by a designer.

What you need for an effective website is web development made by a web developer as well.  This sets up the effective tools and structures which humans cannot see from a website front end.  But robots and web search engines CAN see.  And now you can too.

Go and test your website using the Hubspot or WooRank tools now.  And send me the results.

Book in a 20 minute call and we will tell you what can be easily improved and how you can do it yourself (yes, really – most of these improvements do not require web development expertise, only editing in your CMS).

Or just buy the book.