Trollishly bad practice viral campaign

How much work does going viral take?

I like being flattered as much as the next social media expert. [I’m not a guru by the way].

And responding promptly to media enquiries is best practice.

Here’s an example of a social media agency running a project which wasn’t quite what I expected. Learn from my mistakes.

Anatomy of a viral social campaign

When Claire Divas approached me the request was nicely written.

I suspect English is not her first language –  copywriting for sales success is a course she could usefully complete. That apostrophe is a killer giveaway as is the word eager – which is commonly used in Indian English. And it turns out it is not “her” site, it’s an agency business.

I’m doing an Expert’s Roundup interview on my site and I believe social media enthusiasts 
and specialists would be eager to know your answer to this question:
What Are The Effective Tips For Online Business To Get Viral On Social Media?

It looked good. On topic and the right audience of enthusiasts. Going viral with a post about going viral seemed like a nice proposition.

Turns out I’m one in 130+ people quoted

Does it betray trust to find you are hard to pick out in a crowd? Who will actually read one hundred and thirty different so-called experts advice?

So how did the campaign plan look

  1. Write to a lot of people with a simple request
  2. Set up a form to collect their answers
  3. Curate images and biography information
  4. Send chasing emails.
  5. Write a summary article with a catchy title.
  6. Tell everyone what you’ve done

So far so good. You can copy this campaign structure.

Put the reader first

The scope of the campaign structure is good – best practice.

The selection of experts is diverse. And this is where the problems start.

Think about the reader – I think that she will find it hard to get value from what’s written here. It’s too diverse, too broad and you have to trawl through a lot of content to find that one snippet of “gold” that will answer your question.

Self-evidently Trollishly [hideous name btw] want a lot of people to promote and link to their content [that’s a no-follow link].

And that will give them a ton of good SEO and incoming links and publicity as people quoted amplify their message to their audiences.

What I got wrong

What irritates me is that I didn’t ask the right questions of Trollishly and of myself at the start of the project.

  1. How many experts will be quoted?
  2. How many people in your audience are B2B
  3. Will the links be do-follow back to my website and social profiles?
  4. Will this audience become businesses prospects for me?
  5. What is the ROI on my time?
Rebecca expertise on social media

Rebecca’s advice on the shared expert post

I fell for their pitch. I didn’t qualify the opportunity well enough.

And look at what they published – the pink circled website and social media details of my business are an image – not hyperlinked at all. So going viral is not what they actually delivered for me.

I feel exploited….

P.S. I could have found much of this out with a little research. The menu items on their website include “Buy Instagram likes”. Tells me everything I need to know about the quality of their business.

Ecommerce, road sign commerce street

Ecommerce retail product coherence

Asking the right questions is key to getting the most out of an ecommerce retail marketing adviser.

Web traffic to online store

Giving “free” advice on the Manaaki forum, I showcase where and how online retailers can improve a lot of their business without a lot of cost. One question asked was

I need help with increasing traffic through my online store on my website.

I would like to add to more products but if there is  no interest on what I’ve already put up, then I’m unsure if I should proceed further. 

The questions look good – but when I did basic research into the site, the other social media profiles and the product set, it was clear that the author was not asking the right questions.

Online Product Mix

This site sells a book and some note cards.

The description of the products are accurate, but not aligned to any obvious audience, nor do they connect together – why does an author sell note cards?

I did some research and I could see why – she’s an artist AND and author.

The images she creates are her social media publicity and the “experimenters mindset” she identifies with gives a clear alignment with an audience of searchers.

So far so good, but the website and the social media profiles are not aligned.  There’s no connection between what she does on each and so without that logic, the customer won’t see any reason to go from one to the other. If you like her social media pictures, there’s a website selling a book = disconnect. And the reverse.

You need your product-set to have coherence – they must sit together logically. A website that sells milk and furniture doesn’t work because few people just buy those two things together.

Can you build other products which are related to your book which allow the customer to step up a “ladder” of purchases? This allows the customer to buy one thing and it’s obvious what the next thing they should buy.

This is a great test for any ecommerce store.

You need entry level products, you need larger ticket and high priced items and a pathway from one to the other. And if possible, you also need replenishables – things which can be bought over ad over again.

Let me share a way you can check your ecommerce store has a good product set and is aligned with your target audience along with the marketing you do. Read on.

Assess your competitors

Go and find websites for your 4 favourite competitors. Analyse them.

What are their websites like? What products do they sell? How are the home pages laid out?

Draw a ‘wireframe’ of their website home page and identify each block of the page and what it is – this is a photo – this is a buy button – this is a link to the top 3 products etc…. You will quickly see a pattern and a logic to a nicely designed website. You don’t need to know what the ‘rules’ of good design are – but you do need to be able to explain to a friend why you like each site.

Search for “shops / brands similar to….”  and find sites you don’t know and do the same analysis.

You are trying to work out who their customers are and to answer the same questions above. Write all this down in a spreadsheet so you can compare them. Then ask a friend to check your work and see if they agree.

Now you have an idea of where your website matches up with these design rules. Make any changes you need so your site is laid out better.  And who is YOUR customer? When you know your audience – re-write your website as if you are speaking to one person who is your ideal customer persona.

Online retail merchandising

After doing your website audit, now review your product mix.

Can you build other products which are related to your number one best seller which allow the customer to step up a “ladder” of purchases? So they buy one thing and it’s obvious what the next thing they should buy is. Keep the list of products short and concentrate on a range of price points as well as the ladder of purchases.

There’s a lot of work in here – pace yourself, small actions done regularly are a good way to make progress.


Read the case study answers where I suggest products to add to the range and also low cost marketing tactics for promoting the brand, head back to Manaaki.

business card boxes

Are business cards still relevant to marketing?

As a child I was fascinated by business cards.

business card boxes

Rebecca’s discarded business card storage boxes

My curiosity was piqued when I was earning some holiday money in my father’s office doing admin and filing. His business partner, David, had a corner office with a deep windowsill. It had a tiled surface and every couple of feet was a small stack of business cards. I had never seen anything like this before and while he was not looking I picked up a pile and started to leaf through the stack reading each one.

When he came back from lunch I asked him what they were and he explained that this was how business people exchange their contact details. I asked him if I could have some and he was surprised.

It was a curious thing for a 12-year-old to be interested in. He kindly sorted through a pile and gave me a dozen. “There” he said “now you can be a collector of business cards”.

I thought this was a supercool hobby and was sure that none of my friends was doing anything even remotely as interesting.

I collect business cards

Fast forward a few years and of course I’m now a marketing specialist and business to business marketing hangs off databases and your ability to stay in touch with your customers. Business cards are no longer a thing of the past but they certainly are an element of off-line marketing that has not transferred smoothly into the online world.

I vividly remember an early app called bump when you could tap knuckles with another person and exchange business cards through your mobile phones. It was one of those great SXSW digital innovations that really never meet reached the mainstream.

There was another app which I sorely miss which was CardMunch, it scanned your  business card via the camera and automatically sent a LinkedIn connection request. Of course it got bought by LinkedIn and they shut it down. Sad days.

But what about business databases?

There are a lot of things that a business could be doing with customer data but I find that few firms actually take advantage of the information they already have let alone the information they could obtain.

Let’s run a quick checklist.

  • Where do you keep customer data in your business?
  • Where or other places where data is kept for example in your account system.
  • Can you pull these into a single place?
  • How often do you message your customers?
  • If someone is on your mailing list and that email bounces what happens?
  • What are you doing to add new names to your database each month and to refine the existing subscribers so that people who do not open your messages are removed or message less frequently?

Get answers to these questions by “mystery shopping” your own firm.

Having good data discipline is a really strong underpinning to a robust business to business marketing plan.

Your job for today

Think back to me as the young kid who thought collecting business cards was cool. Take a look at where your business could collect customer data and what actually happens when you do.

I hazard a guess that there are a lot of opportunities which are extremely low cost, could lead to valuable customer relationships and more sales.

Go get them.

old typewriter, unsplash

What You Can Count on From a Good Copywriting Service

When it comes to efforts such as marketing, advertising, or social media, crafting the right message is essential. You need to communicate effectively with current and prospective customers. It takes great writing to do that. Penning interesting, engaging, and relevant copy might not be your strong suit. In fact, this may be a time when you look for some outside help. Thankfully, you can find reliable, competent copywriting services to take your ideas and present them to your audience appropriately and effectively. If you’re not sure it’s worth your effort to hire a service, consider the benefits that such a team could offer.

Experienced, Skilled Professional Writers

A copywriting service knows how to write craft dazzling copy, no matter what you’re trying to communicate. Whether you’re introducing a new product or service, whether you’ve got big company news, or whether you’re simply trying to expand your reach and improve your visibility, professional copywriters can bring your ideas to life. Copywriting services don’t employ amateurs who may have dabbled in blog writing here or there, or whose experience is limited to writing college papers. Instead, you’ll be happy to find talented writers who have a proven track record of producing excellent copy for companies like yours. The best services have a team of writers who collectively have decades of experience. These writers are adept at taking your conceptions and putting them to print and electronic media in dynamic ways.

Accustomed to Deadlines

Good copywriters have a lot of skills and abilities. One of the things they’re most familiar with is sticking to tight deadlines and providing a finishing product on time. Experienced copywriting services commit to delivering for their clients promptly. Writers know full well that missing deadlines reflects poorly on their work and reliability. It also puts clients in a bad position. The best services will honor your deadline needs by staying on top of every project, regardless of how complex it might be.

Good Communicators

Just as copywriters need to communicate messages to the audience through powerful writing, they also need to communicate well with the client. The service you hire should be dependable in this way. While meeting deadlines is essential, there are times when unforeseen situations arise and the writer must make adjustments. In these cases, you can’t afford to be caught by surprise. A good copywriter will always let you know the progress of the progress and whether he or she encounters any obstacles. Regular contact is critical, whether that’s through email, messaging app, phone calls, or even an in-person meeting.

Flexible, Adaptable

Just as the scope of a project may change on the writers’ end, you may want to go a different direction at some point too. Budget constraints, changes in your goals or vision, or other circumstances may require you to instruct the writer to do things differently, even after the writer has already started writing the copy. This won’t derail the efforts of the best writers. Instead, the writers will understand your needs and create the winning piece you envision. A professional writer should have the skill to switch tracks right away and continue moving forward, even if there are significant changes to the style or tone of the content.

Worth Your Investment

Paying for copywriting services does require a financial commitment from you. However, you can rest assured that you’ll get an equal or larger portion of what you put into this relationship. By delivering excellent copy, a professional can help increase traffic on your website, widen your customer base, and ultimately help your company’s bottom line.

Now you know that professionals can offer these benefits. It’s a no-brainer to hire a copywriting service today.


Creative Agency Secrets provides copywriting services.

education electric tariff differences

Effective social media tips for B2B

Business to Business marketing is my specialism. The key to robust B2B social media marketing return on investment is persistence, diligence and flashes of genius!

Having said that, you need more that just posting regularly to enable social media ROI. Allow me to explain.

Your customer pipeline

Building authority and demonstrating empathy are the messaging goals that will start prospects moving up the sales pipeline.

LinkedIn updates need to have a balance of product/service information combined with industry discussions.

I set up Google Alerts for key words which are triggers for my client’s industry. One is “Tax” and so we can track that against mainstream news. Here in New Zealand we just had an election and so adding “Tax + election” we can either start discussion threads about this OR answer other people’s questions.

Another is “Health & Safety” and we can look at newsworthy situations where failures happened and start a discussion about lessons and learnings.

Following hashtags can also be beneficial for niche industries.

What B2B marketers get wrong on social

The key for businesses who sell advice is not to give advice on social media.

They should ONLY demonstrate expertise.

The key for businesses who sell products is not to push their products – only to demonstrate the key features of good products (which of course they supply).

The inference is that you are experts and prospective customers should seek you out if they see relevance in what you write and it aligns with their immediate area of interest.

Is this a selling opportunity? Case Study

I posed a question on LinkedIn and garnered a lot of views and comments.

electric car electric tariff

Electricity tariffs for electric cars in NZ

Is this a selling opportunity? Yes for sure.

I got responses in public from Mercury, Meridian Energy and Our Energy Limited and in private I messaged Electric Kiwi, Power Compare and ChargeNet. So about one sixth of the local retail electricity supply industry brands.

The discussion was really interesting and a mix of industry insiders and consumer remarks, including this gem from the CEO of Our Energy Ltd – a disruptor startup in the energy supply industry.

education electric tariff differences

Comparing tariffs is only one part of the EV power story

So electricity companies are all watching, tracking and listening to customer conversations.

And you should be too.

Social selling is not a silver bullet

Many advisers will counsel using “social selling” an irritating phrase meaning sell your services on social media. This is such a problematic term for B2B because when on social, most people do not want to be sold to. They aren’t in “buying” mode on social.

Creating negative brand perceptions is to be avoided.

Having a robust, well-rounded tactical marketing and brand building programme will give you ample opportunity to sell. But only after you have built brand credibility and trust. Therefore multi-touch and multi-channel campaigns are the best route forward for B2B brands. Use with care, is my advise. Oh, yes and do ask an expert what they think about “social selling” BEFORE you hire them.

4 Accounting Techniques That Benefit Your Business Productivity

4 Accounting Techniques That Benefit Your Business Productivity

You’ll have a lot of things on your plate once you decide to start a business. For starters, you need to hire the right employees for the right positions to ensure that every facet of your business functions perfectly. However, if you want your business to be productive, it’s not enough that you only focus on your manpower. You should also implement the right accounting techniques.

Accounting is vital in every business because this allows you to maintain a systematic and accurate record of your financial transactions. Accounting will make it very easy for you to make data-driven decisions and assess whether your business is earning or losing money.

For your business to remain productive, make sure to implement the following accounting techniques:

4 Accounting Techniques That Benefit Your Business Productivity

business chart showing financial success at the stock market

1. Start By Learning The Basics

Accounting is generally a complex topic as you’ll be dealing with numbers and many other financial transactions. Keeping track of your business’s accounting can also mean complying with the necessary paperwork requirements and submitting them to several government agencies.

If you want your business to effectively implement several accounting techniques, it’s best if you start by learning the basics first. If you’re still a novice in accounting, spend some time to know how accounting works and the processes involved in accounting. You should also educate yourself about what 3-way matching is, how a ledger is used, and what you should prepare during the tax season. The more adept you are in the basics of accounting, the easier it’ll be for you to make the most out of different accounting techniques.

2. Separate Personal And Business Finances

As an entrepreneur, you should prioritize setting up different bank accounts for your personal and business finances. This is one of the simplest accounting techniques you should implement the moment your business starts operating.

Having separate personal and business finances will make it very easy for you to assess the progress of your business, without compromising your personal finances along the way. You won’t have any problems assessing if your business is earning or losing money if you have another bank account solely for this purpose. Moreover, having a separate bank account will also help you come up with better business decisions as you’ll know how much your business can afford to spend.

Regardless of how taxing it can be to comply with requirements to open another bank account for your business finances, you should still do it. You’ll be able to reap the rewards of your efforts once your business starts operating.

3.Keep Accurate Records

In order for your business to grow, it’s important to keep track of all business receipts and payments. Regardless of how small the amount is or how minor the transaction is, if it involves your business’s finances, you should keep records of it.

Keeping records will also help business owners like you to easily review your expenses. Doing this will enable you to identify areas that are costing your business too much money, and come up with solutions on how you can cut down expenses.

It’s also a good idea to create a ledger for you to easily keep track of all business income and expenses. The ledger can be used to provide a more in-depth overview of the expenses incurred, as well as the amount of revenue generated by your business during a certain period.

4.Use Accounting Software

As a business owner, you’ll have many things to juggle at the same time, too many that you won’t have the time and energy to handle all these things altogether. From developing new ideas, to executing them, to attending meetings, and to managing to keep track of all the activities in your company, there are too many things to consider. If you can’t do them all by yourself, then, it’s time to turn to accounting software to help you out.

With an accounting software at your disposal, you’ll be able to manage all of your accounts in one place. Moreover, an accounting software will also enable you to check on all of your books, find errors in any of your financial data, and make changes right away.

Since everything is automated, an accounting software will also provide data that you can easily print out, so you’re always aware of where your business stands financially. Furthermore, you can schedule time to sit down, analyze your finances, and decide on what changes you ought to make in your business.

Be Committed To Learn

There are many accounting techniques you can use for your business today. You just have to implement ones that suit the size and nature of your business, and spend time to master these techniques. Accounting can’t be learned overnight, so make sure that you’re willing to exert effort to learn these techniques and implement them consistently in your business.


Rebecca Caroe Quora profile

Using Wikipedia and Quora for marketing

I recently got asked about whether Wikipedia is good for marketing. It’s a high traffic website from where backlinks could be valuable.

If you do create Wikipedia entries be aware that there are rules about businesses on the platform.

The recent history of Marketing on Wikipedia

A lot of PR agencies got publicly burned while trying to promote their clients there.
Which led to Wikipedia publishing this.
And check out the PR institute rules in the UK which followed.

Basically, don’t expect this to be an amazing source of new business.

However, I have an other option to offer you which may work.

Quora expert profile

5 Quora tips for marketing

Answering questions around your topic of expertise and interest and inspiration is definitely somewhere you can shine. It’s not open source, so nobody can edit your submissions and you can get upvoted and become an “expert” on the platform quite quickly.

The key is to start in an established niche where you are confident.
Here are 5 easy tips on writing Quora replies with a marketing slant.

  1. Read all the other answers first and upvote / or reference good parts which you agree with
  2. Then add your own slant which is hopefully something not already mentioned
  3. Find something in your own published content which could be linked from your answer and which adds more detail. This is key because a skim reader won’t follow the link, but someone who is really interested will click to follow and land on your site. So you filter out the tyre kickers quickly.
  4. If you haven’t already got something you can use from your own content write it now. Write it on your website / blog, publish it, and link it inside your Quora answer before you hit save in Quora.
  5. Use the GA campaign link tool so you can identify traffic from that article link.
  6. All Quora links are nofollow but real people will click on them – so they give you customers instead of immediate SERP rank juice.
  7. Tick the box to follow the answers and get alerted when someone else joins the thread so you can come back in later if you need.

Now what’s stopping you?


Oh, and if you came here from Manaaki – welcome. You’re following exactly the technique I recommend for use on Quora.

And you can use this technique on other forums relevant to your niche. I have three which send me traffic and build my profile as an expert in new business development.

home office desk corner

5 Tips for Managing a Company With Remote Employees

With the availability of the internet and technology that we have today, more and more companies are operating remotely. There are plenty of advantages for employees working remotely. They can work from home and care for their family. They don’t have to deal with rush hour traffic during their daily commute. The organization also thrives from a remote work setting because they can generate more revenue without the costly overhead for brick and mortar. There can be a bit of a learning curve for businesses that are making the transition from an office setting to a fully remote environment.

home office desk corner

Thanks to Roberto Nickson for sharing their work on Unsplash

1. Logistics

There are several factors to understand when working out the logistics of creating a remote working environment for your employees. You should structure your business by keeping in mind the current market conditions. Create an operations plan for your organization including how many employees you need. You should do payroll calculations to know how much compensation the company can afford for each employee.

2. Training

Remote working is a different experience than working in an office setting. Many people have not experienced working from home and may need training in various programs and software that your business uses daily. Provide online training to your remote workers so they know what is expected. This helps to better equip them to provide their best work. By helping to improve your employees’ skills, you are also helping your business grow.

Remember that remote working also involves remote communication.  Staff can talk to each other but group messages may get overlooked with email. A better solution is a desktop system like SnapComms which enables a diverse range of getting employee attention when everyone is busy.

SnapComms features include alerts, desktop tickers, wallpaper, lock screens and the important panic button.

snapcomms features

SnapComms features for employee comms and remote working effectiveness

3. Team Building

It is beneficial to the company to develop a team mentality among coworkers. Businesses that have a cohesive attitude tend to become more successful in meeting their objectives. It can be more difficult to build strong bonds among online personnel because they lack the one-on-one in-person face time that people have in a traditional office setting. It is helpful to provide online team-building exercises to help create a stronger bond among your personnel. A cohesive team works effectively and efficiently.

4. Communication

Good communication is key to a successful organization. Be sure that every employee you hire has exceptional communication skills. An online business needs to run their operations in a way that is conducive to good communication channels. Provide communication tools that provide an interactive platform for employees to easily correspond. Make a clear structure for the chain of command so that everyone knows how to properly escalate items as they arise.

5. Efficiency

A strong work-life balance provides employees with peace of mind which helps them to work more efficiently. Remote workers do their best work when they can work a flexible schedule that enables them to meets personal needs. Keep your employees’ mental and emotional health in mind, as people that work from home often have less personal interaction in general which can cause stress. Implement an environment that is conducive to the mental and emotional health of your staff.

It is important for workers to feel valued for their hard work. This is particularly true for remote workers since they do not have the same interaction with employers as office workers. Show gratitude towards your employees for their hard work frequently by rewarding them with recognition.

spam SEO linkback example

Getting linkbacks for SEO

<Rant warning begins>

Do you regularly check your website links?

I found comments in my site back end today which made me spit tacks.

And so I wrote to the business who was linked from the commenter.

Do you know your SEO agency are making spammy comments on blogs in order to get you linkbacks? It doesn’t work and gives you a bad name.

So don’t do it.

AI written comment is spam


Using bots for marketing

And another thing – using AI to write comments creates inhuman weirdness.

Read the text in the image above. This is clearly not written by a human; not written by a human who speaks English as a second language.

This is a bot.

AI comment spam

Writing comments on blogs can be a nice way to get linkbacks – but most popular sites now set all comments to be [nofollow] links and so it’s not very beneficial. Clearly some agencies have decided that cutting costs by using artificial intelligence tools is worthwhile.

I am not against experimentation. BUT check the outputs match your expectations.

The comments on my site just scream LOW QUALITY SPAM.

Who seriously thinks that bots can make good marketers for B2B is just plain WRONG.


<Rant over>