Posts Tagged ‘Marketing Strategy’

Adding the Facebook Like Button Revisited

17 Mar

Adding the Facebook Like Button Revisited

This content from: Duct Tape Marketing

I wrote a post about Facebook Like buttons some time ago, but a few things have changed and I thought it might be time to further clarify this play.

Adding the Facebook Like button to web pages and blog posts has become even more beneficial as Facebook has consolidated many of the various social actions to make the Like a very powerful sharing tool. Facebook changed its “Like” button to essentially give it the same functionality as its “Share” button. Before this change, “likes” appeared on a wall grouped with other actions with little or no detail other than a small notice that the user had “liked” something. “Shares” were more prominently displayed and contained more detail. Now “Likes” show an image, link and content from entire post or whatever is being “liked”, on the users Facebook wall.

Facebook Like Social Plugin

Some folks kind of feel this is another classic bait and switch with Facebook, but web site owners will certainly benefit from more exposure if they take advantage.

Here are few things you need to know.

You don’t add the Like button to your own Facebook Page

I add this here because I get tons of questions about this. When I talk about adding the Like button I’m talking about adding it to pages outside of Facebook – your blog for example. A lot of new Facebook page admins believe they need to do something to add the Like button to their own Facebook page because it doesn’t show up when you log in if you’ve already “Liked” your own page – an act that most do. So, rest assured, if someone visits your page that has not already clicked the like action, they can see the Like button.

Add the code anywhere on any page you can edit

You can produce the HTML code for any web page you can edit from the Facebook Developer’s Social Plug In Tool. Simply add the URL to the specific page you want to create the code for, edit the settings for width and style and hit get code. Copy the code and paste it anywhere on your web page where you want it to show and presto, people can like your page. I suggest doing this for any web pages where you have content, products, reviews, service descriptions or anything else people might choose to share with their Facebook fans.

Adding Facebook Like code to web page HTML

Add the code to every individual WordPress post and page

If you want to manually add the Facebook Like code to your WordPress theme and you can edit the individual theme files, you can add the same code as created above to the page, single and index files but replace the URL with this code to allow WordPress to automatically insert the individual blog post for each Like – href=”< ?php the_permalink(); ?>” Place this code in where you would like the Like button to appear. This approach may not be for beginners as you need to know your way around WordPress theme files, but the good news it there are plugins mentioned below that can do the work for you.

The Open Graph Protocol

If I may, I’m going to get a little geeky on you because I think this is a topic that is going to get increasingly important due to Facebook’s support and that’s the Open Graph Protocol. The Open Graph protocol enables any web page to become a rich object in a social graph. For instance, this is used on Facebook to enable any web page to have the same functionality as a Facebook Page. To turn your web pages into graph objects, you need to add basic metadata to your page like you may have done for keywords and description. This additional data gives your post even richer detail on Facebook.

Think of this additional data as way to optimize the Like button on your site.

Here’s an example of og metadata for a movie

The WP-OGP plugin adds meta data to your WordPress blog so it can better interact with Facebook and other services that use the open graph protocol. This is something that I recommend, but it’s not the first order of business if you are still figuring this blogging thing out. A couple of things to note, you’ll need to know your Facebook ID and you’ll need to get a Facebook developer ID. Both of these are explained here and in the set-up panel of the plugin once installed. In Facebook’s eyes you are actually creating an application that will integrate with Facebook, so that’s why you must register your site and application, but it’s note really that complicated. You will also want to check and make sure your blog theme supports the WordPress feature image function because you’ll need to set a feature image for each post to have it shown on Facebook pages with your post. (More on feature image here)

How to designate a feature image in WordPress

Two WordPress Plugins

If you run a WordPress site your best bet in the end might be to use the Like Plugin or the Like Button for Facebook Plugin as they both have great reviews and do pretty much everything explained in this post, including adding the Open Graph data. Again, you’ll need your Facebook ID and developer ID so that your site can interact securely with Facebook, but I think Facebook has made this a step most site owners should take.


WordPress 3.1 Is Big Leap Into CMS

28 Feb

WordPress 3.1 Is Big Leap Into CMS

This content from: Duct Tape Marketing

Regular readers to this blog know that I’m a WordPress fan. You may have noticed that I updated the look of the blog with a new theme. At that time I also converted the entire site to WordPress – a feat that I think shows off the power and flexibility of this publishing tool to be a singular content management tool for small business.

The most recent update to WordPress includes some significant feature upgrades and in my opinion moves the tool even farther into the ability to serve as the tool of choice for any web site.

Key feature additions include:

Quick overview of the Internal Linking function

Internal link – This has to be my favorite new feature and reason enough to upgrade if you’re stalling. A very common practice in blogging is to link to other relevant content from past blog posts. In the past this was accomplished by finding the other post and copying the URL to embed in a link. No big deal unless you’ve got over 2,000 posts. Now, when you are editing a post (only when using the visual editor :( ) you have the ability add a link from any page or blog post, including searching through all posts, right from the link editing tool.

Post formats – The new style of WordPress theme takes advantage of multiple page templates in order to accomplish things like I’ve done on thhis site (my home page is a WordPress page template using the Builder Theme from iThemes) With the advancement of WordPress 3.1 comes something called Post Formats. Post Formats allow theme designers to create multiple views of blog post so that sites can have different post layouts inside the same theme for different content.

Theme designers now have the ability to create post formats that include:

  • Aside – Typically short pieces of content, published without a title.
  • Image Gallery – A collection of pictures in a gallery format.
  • Link – A single link.
  • Image – A single image.
  • Quote – An inspirational or noteworthy quote with a citation.
  • Status – Status updates, similar to Facebook and Twitter updates.
  • Video – A single video.
  • Audio – A single audio clip, like a song or a podcast.
  • Chat – An instant message transcript.

The ability to create custom post formats (post types) has been around for some time, but now designers have an ordained set of format names that will allow for standardization across themes. For a tutorial on how to get started with Post Formats visit this Wordcast Tutorial:Add Tumblr Style Features To Your Blog with WordPress 3.1

You might also want to check out this online seminar from my friends at iThemes – WordPress Advanced Custom Post Formats – Wed March 2nd 11 am CT

Admin bar – Next up is a new editing bar that appears above posts for admins when viewing live content. The idea behind this feature is that it offers easy editing and navigation directly from any blog page. I kind of like this as I tend to edit some things this way, but a lot of admins are complaining that it’s in the way and needlessly adds more clutter. (Top nav bars like the Hello Bar are getting popular as well and this may cause some conflicts with these kinds of scripts.) The top nav is turned on by default, but you can switch it off by visiting your account settings.

This nav bar appears by default for admins


The Evolution of Commitment

23 Jul

The Evolution of Commitment

This content from: Duct Tape Marketing

Evolution of Commitment

Most of us want to sell something – want to get people to commit to plopping down the hard won cash in an exchange of value. That’s certainly one of the reasons millions of business folks have jumped into online networks and social platforms – to gain access to the hundreds of millions that hang out there and prospect for customers.

But while social technology has made it much easier to gain access to people, I think in some ways it’s actually made it harder to get those same people to commit to buy (or at least it hasn’t really made it easier.) While selling in the old days (2 years ago) was still very much about getting someone’s attention and making them an offer, it has now become much more of an intentional act of gaining trust and helping prospects evolve towards a customer commitment.

The Evolution of Commitment looks a bit like this:

  • It’s pretty darn easy to get a fan or a follower, but what’s that really worth by itself?
  • Using social media platforms to drive fans and followers to read your educational content furthers their engagement
  • Encouraging that reader to subscribe to your email newsletter or how to series is the link to gaining permission to make offers
  • Creating opportunities for subscribers to participate by evaluating, sampling and trialing your products and services is the key to demonstrating value worth paying for.
  • And finally now you’ve got them hooked and it’s time to pay up – but wait, why would I pay for something I can get for free in so many other places?

The response in the last point above is the dilemma of the free online world that people have grown accustomed to. Scads of smart marketers have mastered the pre commitment dance of know, like and trust, only to fall flat when asking for the ultimate commitment – money.

So what does it take to get fans and followers to commit, take the act of paying for your offerings?

I asked some of my followers on Twitter that very question and receive responses like:
“there needs to have been serious “can’t live without” value on the free version that would make me test out the paid version.”

“the idea that what i’m paying for has real life value, isn’t free somewhere else, or won’t lose half it’s value in < 1yr."

"add'l features get me from free to paid, as does a great free experience."

"It has to inspire me, be enjoyable and/or fulfill a true need."

As I look around at some of the successful freemium models, Basecamp, Evernote, and those that have experience challenges going to a paid model, Ning, I’m struck with the impression that commitment comes from an experience that so exceeds expectation, so motivates people to talk, and is so valuable that people actually feel bad not paying for the experience or come to understand their life will be better by making the commitment.

That’s a pretty high standard, but the clear message is this – people will buy anything that’s free, even crap, but they won’t commit unless it’s remarkably free and freeing.

But think about that for a moment – isn’t there a similar bar for any commitment? What gets someone to say yes to a marriage proposal? What gets someone to commit to giving up smoking? What gets someone to go after a job at a company with no current opening?

Commitment, and it’s semi-evil twin non-commitment, is all around us every day. What can we learn from it to bring to our business, culture and marketing? I think there is much to explore on this topic.

So, what tips you to a commit to something?

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Hourly Thinking is a Recipe for Disaster

25 Sep

This content from: Duct Tape Marketing

Hourly Thinking is a Recipe for Disaster

If you provide a service, and you charge for your service by the hour, you’re headed for trouble. You are essentially selling a product with a limited supply. The only way to increase your business is to raise your rates. But even that will catch up with you because at some point the old apples to apples comparison with a competitor will check your growth.

The answer is to sell a result for a fee or sell a package for a fee, much like you might sell a product. See when you sell a product, nobody says “I’m not paying you $5000, it only costs you $10 to make it.” You price it and they decide if they value it enough to buy it.

But, that’s precisely what they say when you charge by the hour isn’t it?. “I’m not paying you $5,000 for that, it only took you 3 hours to do it.” See, the thing is, it may have only taken you three hours to produce this one result but it’s taken your 10 years of your life to get good enough to do it. Don’t think hours, don’t sell hours, don’t devalue your experience and expertise and ability to bring massive results to your customers by selling yourself short.

Have you ever delivered an incredible, six figure kind of result for a customer only to return to the office and fire off a $500 invoice? Have you ever felt a customer back down because they didn’t believe you could actually deliver the results you promised that cheaply?

But how do you get out of the hourly trap? I mean everyone else in your industry is stuck with it, how can you expect to defy it?

The secret to this seemingly cavalier advice lies in putting your energy into forging one of two paths.

1) Build a brand that speaks to a narrow market so thoroughly they are willing to pay a premium to experience it.
2) Create and document results so completely that no one will ever blink when you tell them your fee for the result.

When you begin to think this way it will completely change your view of the world and quite likely allow you to more fully serve your customers while enjoying making what your expertise and unique life experiences are worth.

I had a great conversation with Alan Weiss, a consultant well known for his Million Dollar Consulting series of books and some very strong opinions on this notion of value based fees. You can click on over to listen to our chat or download the interview here.

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